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<2f LITERATURE OF ITALY, 1440-1630 











Causes which led to the sack of Rome — The assault — Death of Bourbon 
— Atrocities of his soldiery — The Duke of Urbino's fatal delays — 
The Pontiff's capitulation and escape — Policy of the Emperor . . 3 


The Duke's mischievous Policy — New league against Charles V. — A 
French army reaches Naples — The Duke's campaign in Lombardy 
— Peace restored — Siege of Florence — Coronation of the Emperor at 
Bologna — The independence of Italy finally lost — Leonora Duchess 
of Urbino — The Duke's Military Discourses . . ... 34 


Italian Militia — The Camerino disputes — Death of Clement VII. — 
Marriage of Prince Guidobaldo — Proposed Turkish crusade under 
the Duke — His death and character 60 




Succession of Duke Guidobaldo II. — He loses Camerino and the Pre- 
fecture of Rome— The altered state of Italy— Death of Duchess 
Giulia — The Duke's remarriage — Affairs of the Farnesi ... 85 




The Duke's domestic affairs — Policy of Paul IV. — The Duke enters the 
Spanish service — Rebellion at Urbino severely repressed — His death 
and character — His children io6 




Autobiography of Duke Francesco Maria II. — His visit to the Spanish 
Court — His studious habits — His marriage — Is engaged in the naval 
action of Lepanto — Succeeds to the dukedom 129 


The unsatisfactory results of his marriage — He separates from the 
Duchess — His court and habits — Death of the Duchess — He re- 
marries ............ 152 


Birth of Prince Federigo — The Duke's retired habits and aversion to 
business — His constitution-making experiments — His instructions to 
his son — The Prince's unfortunate education and character . . 1 73 


The Prince's marriage — The Duke entrusts to him the government, 
and retires to Castel Durante — His dissolute career and early death 
— Birth of his daughter Vittoria — The Duke rouses himself — He 
arranges the devolution of his state to the Holy See — Papal 
intrigues 196 


The Duke's monkish seclusion — His death and character — His portraits 
and letters — Notices of Princess Vittoria, and her inheritance — Fate 
of the ducal libraries — The duchy incorporated with the Papal 
States — Results of the Devolution ....... 224 






Italian literature subject to new influences — The academies — Federigo 
Comandino — Guidobaldo del Monte — The Paciotti — Leonardi — 
Muzio Oddi — Bernardino Baldi — Girolamo Muzio — Federigo Bona- 
ventura 253 


Italian versification — Ariosto — Pietro Aretino — Vittoria Colonna — 
Laura Battiferri — Dionigi Atanagi — Antonio Galli — Marco Montano 
— Bernardo Tasso .......... 278 


Torquato Tasso — His insanity — Theories of Dr. Verga and Mr. Wilde 
— His connection with Urbino — His intercourse with the Princess of 
Este — His portraits — His letter to the Duke of Urbino — His confine- 
ment — His death — His poetry — Battista Guarini .... 308 


The "decline of Italian art : its causes and results — Artists of Urbino — 
Girolamo della Genga and his son Bartolomeo — Other architects 
and engineers . 335 


Taddeo Zuccaro — Federigo Zuccaro — Their pupils — Federigo Baroccio 

and his pupils — Claudio Ridolfi — Painters of Gubbio . . . 355 


Foreign artists patronised by the Dukes della Rovere — The tomb of 
Julius II. by Michael Angelo — Character and influence of his genius 
— Titian's works for Urbino — Palma Giovane — II Semolei — Sculp- 
tors at Urbino 381 

Of the manufacture of majolica in the Duchy of Urbino . . . 403 




I. Correspondence of Clement VII. with Duke Francesco Maria 

before the sack of Rome, 1527 427 

II. The sack of Rome ......... 429 

III. The Duke of Urbino's justification, 1527 444 

IV. Sketch of the negotiations of Castiglione at the court of Madrid, 

1525-1529 448 

V. Account of the armada of Don John of Austria at Messina, 1571 452 

VI. Indulgence conceded to the corona of the Grand Duke of 

Tuscany by Pius V. , 1666 456 

VII. Monumental inscriptions of the ducal family of Urbino . . 458 

VIII. Statistics of Urbino 463 

IX. Two sonnets by Pietro Aretino on Titian's portraits of Duke 

Francesco Maria I. and his Duchess Leonora . . . 470 

X. Petition to Guidobaldo II. Duke of Urbino, by certain Majolica- 
makers in Pesaro 472 

XI. Letter from the Archbishop of Urbino to Cardinal Giulio della 

Rovere, regarding a service of Majolica .... 474 

XII. Collections of art made by the Dukes of Urbino . . . 476 

Dennistoun's List of Authorities for the Work . 490 

Genealogical Table 501 

Index 505 


Francesco Maria II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino. After the 
picture by Baroccio in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. (Photo 
Anderson) ......... Frontispiece 


The Emperor Charles V. From the picture by Titian in the Prado 

Gallery, Madrid. (Photo Anderson) 28 

Guidobaldo II, Duke of Urbino. From a picture in the Albani Palace 

in Rome ........... 88 

? Guidobaldo II della Rovere. From the picture by Titian in the Pitti 

Gallery, Florence. (Probably once in the Ducal Collection.) 

(Photo Alinari) 90 

Isabella d'Este. After the picture by Titian in the Imperial Museum, 

Vienna. (Photo Franz Hanfstaengl) ...... 134 

Duke Francesco ]Maria II receiving the allegiance of his followers. 

After the fresco by Girolamo Genga in the Villa Imperiale, Pesaro. 

(Photo Alinari) 148 

Duke Francesco Maria II receiving the allegiance of his followers. 

After the fresco by Girolamo Genga in the Villa Imperiale, Pesaro. 

(Photo Alinari) 150 

Francesco I de' Medici. After the picture by Bronzino in the Pitti 

Gallery, Florence. (Photo Anderson) . . . . . -154 
Federigo, Prince of Urbino. From the picture once in the possession 

of Andrew Coventry of Edinburgh . . . . . .196 

Facsimiles of signatures and monograms ...... 200 

Francesco Maria II, Duke of Urbino. From a picture once in the 

possession of James Dennistoun ....... 226 

Vittoria della Rovere, Grand Duchess of Tuscany. From the picture 

by Sustermans in the Pitti Gallery, Florence. (Photo Anderson) . 248 
Supposed portrait of Ariosto. After the picture by Titian in the 

National Gallery .......... 280 

Pietro Aretino. From the picture by Titian in the Pitti Gallery, 

Florence. (Photo Alinari) 288 

Bernardo Tasso. From a picture once in the possession of James 

Dennistoun . 298 

Torquato Tasso. From a picture once in the possession of James 

Dennistoun 308 

Laura de' Dianti and Alfonso of Ferrara. After the picture by Titian 

in the Louvre. (Photo Neurdein Freres) 312 

Martyrdom of S. Agata. After a picture by Seb. dal. Piombo, once 

in the Ducal Collection at Urbino, now in the Pitti Gallery, 

Florence. (Photo Anderson) 336 



Holy Family. After the picture by Sustermans, once in the Ducal 
Collection of Urbino, now in the Pitti Gallery, Florence. (Photo 
Alinari) 34O 

The Knight of Malta. From the picture by Giorgione, once in the 
Ducal Collection at Urbino, now in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. 
(Photo Anderson) 344 

Judith with the head of Holofernes. After the picture by Palma il 

Vecchio, once in the Ducal Collection at Urbino. (Photo Alinari) 346 

Head of Christ. After the picture by Titian, once in the Ducal 

Collection, now in the Pitti Gallery, Florence. (Photo Alinari) . 348 

The Resurrection. After the banner painted by Titian for the Com- 
pagnia di Corpus Domini, now in the Pinacoteca, Urbino. (Photo 
Alinari) 352 

The Last Supper. After the picture by Baroccio in the Duomo of 

Urbino. (Photo Alinari) 356 

Noli me Tangere. After the picture by Baroccio, once in the Ducal 
Collection at Urbino, now in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. (Photo 
Anderson) 372 

The Communion of the Apostles. By Giusto di Gand, in the Palazzo 

Ducale Urbino. (From the Ducal Collection.) (Photo Alinari) . 382 

Giovanni and Federigo, Electors of Saxony. After the portraits by 
Cranach, once in the Ducal Collection at Urbino, now in the Uffizi 
Gallery, Florence. (Photo Anderson) 386 

La Bella. After the picture by Titian in the Pitti Gallery, Florence. 

Supposed portrait of Duchess Leonora. (Photo Anderson) . . 390 

The Venus of Urbino. Supposed portrait of the Duchess Leonora, 
after the picture by Titian in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, once in 
the Ducal Collection. (Photo Anderson) 392 

Sleeping Venus. After the picture by Giorgione in the Dresden 
Gallery, after which the Venus of Urbino was painted. (Photo 
Anderson 394 

Portrait of his wife, by Lucas Cranach. From the picture in the 
Roscoe Collection, Liverpool. Possibly modelled on the Venus of 
Urbino 39^ 

Maiolica. A plate of Urbino ware of about 1540 in the British Museum 404 

Maiolica. A plate of Cartel Durante ware of about 1524 in the British 

Museum. " The divine and beautiful Lucia " .... 408 

Maiolica. A plate of Urbino ware about 1535 in the British Museum. 

(The arms are Cardinal Pucci's) ....... 412 

Maiolica. Plate of Cartel Durante ware about 1540, with a portrait 
medallion within a border of oak leaves. This pattern was called 
"Cerquata" or "al Urbinata," the oak being the badge of the 
Rovere house. In the British Museum ..... 416 




1527. Causes leading to the sack of Rome .... 3 

The Pontiff's fatal confidence 4 

Defenceless state of his capital 5 

April. His tardy alarm, and inadequate exertions . . 5 

Demoralisation of the city ...... 6 

Warnings of impending woe ..... 6 

May. Foolhardiness of Renzo da Ceri .... 8 

Authorities for the sack ...... 8 

Panic in the city ....... 8 

Estimate of the respective forces .... 9 

5. Arrival of Bourbon's army ..... 10 

6. The assault . 10 

The localities examined and compared . . .11 
Death of Bourbon ....... 12 

Rome lost by a panic ...... 13 

The Pope and Cardinals gain the castle of S. Angelo . 13 
The imperialists overrun the entire city . . -14 
It is ferociously sacked during three days . . .14 
The Prince of Orange succeeds Bourbon . . -IS 
Savage atrocities and sacrilege of the army . .IS 
Several cardinals outraged ..... 16 

Pillage of shops and palaces . . . . .17 

Ransom extorted by the soldiery . . . .18 

Dilatory proceedings of the confederates . . .18 

3. The Duke of Urbino leaves Florence . . .19 

Unworthy motives imputed to him . . , -19 

17. Abortive attempt to rescue the Pope . . . .20 

20. He advances to Isola di Farnese . . . .21 

Distracted counsels in his camp . . , .21 

He resolves upon inaction ...... 22 

His memorial defending this . . , . .22 
The Pontiff vainly appeals to Lanoy . . . .23 

June 5. He accepts a humbling capitulation .... 2 

Sale of cardinals' hats ...... 24 

The capitulation rejected ...... 24 



1527. Aug. Pestilence and famine in Rome . . . . .25 

,, ,, Death of Lanoy ....... 25 

,, Oct. New and more severe terms of capitulation . . 25 

,, Dec. 8. The Pope escapes in disguise to Orvieto . . .26 
Castiglione's negotiatons at Madrid from 1524 to 1528 26 

,, July 25. Conduct of Charles V. on hearing of sack . . . 29 

,, The Pope's dissatisfaction and Castiglione's defence . 29 

,, Nov. 22. The Emperor's hollow professions . . . -31 

,, ,, Fatal consequences of the sack . . . . -32 





1528. Feb. 16. 


„ 10. 


April 29. 


Aug. 15. 





Sept. 20. 


Oct. 21. 



June 29. 




Nov. 5 


Dec. 23 


Aug. 12 




Nov. I. 






Feb. 22 


Mar. 22. 


The confederates retire to Monterosi . 

Mischievous policy of Francesco Maria 

His interview with the Pope 

Distrust of the Venetians .... 

Removed by a visit from the Duke . 

His violent proceedings .... 

He is presented with a palace at Venice . 

New League against Charles V . 

A French army enters Italy 

Close of this miserable year 

The imperalists evacuate Rome . 

Overtaken by signal vengeance . 

Lautrec enters the Abruzzi 

And lays siege to Naples .... 

His death, and the destruction of his army 

The Duke protects the Venetian mainland . 

And saves Lodi from the Duke of Brunswick 

He recovers Pavia ..... 

But loses Savona ..... 

Demoralising effects of these wars 

Peace restored between the great powers . 

Venice not being included, the Duke keeps the 

till December ..... 
Charles and Clement meet at Bologna 
Treaty of the Italian powers 

Siege of Florence 

Death of the Prince of Orange there . 

The Duke arrives at Bologna with the Duchess 

His reception by some veterans 

He declines the imperial baton . 

But is in high favour with Charles 

Who restores to him Sora and Arce . 

The coronation of Charles V. . 

He leaves Bologna ..... 




1530. April 6. 


Clement VII. visits Urbino 

Altered position of Italy by the loss of her nationality 

and independence . 
Opinions of Mariotti 
The Duchess of Urbino builds the palace of Im 


Its attractions and site 

Her portrait and administration 

Prince Guidobaldo . 

Marriage of Princess Ippolita . 

The Duke's Military Discourses 

His opinions on fortification 

His critique on Venetian policy. 

His views regarding sieges 

And Artillery .... 

His comparative estimate of various nations in the 


His rules for the construction of an army 
His inspections of the Venetian troops 
Ancona annexed to the papal states . 







1533. Militia organised in Italy 60 

„ The Feltrian legion instituted at Urbino . . .61 

,, Jan. Charles V. attends a congress at Bologna . . .62 

,, ,, Where Titian meets him and probably paints the 

Duke and Duchess of Urbino. . . . .62 

,, April. Birth of Prince Giulio ...... 63 

,, ,, Origin of the Camerino disputes . . . -63 

„ Descent of the Varano family 63 

„ Giovanni Maria made Duke of Camerino . . .64 

His daughter Giulia offered to Prince Guidobaldo . 65 

„ The consent of Clement VII. withheld . . -65 

„ Attempted abduction of Giulia 66 

1534. Sept. 27. Death of Clement, and his character . . . .66 

„ Oct. 12. Election of Paul III 68 

,, „ ,, Marriage of Guidobaldo ...... 68 

,, It is disapproved by the Pope 68 

„ Vain mediation of Francesco Maria . . . ,68 

„ Hostilities resorted to 69 

1535. The Duke visits Charles V. at Naples, and makes him 

presents ........ 69 

„ Singular tradition in the Abruzzi . . . .69 

„ Death of the last Sforza ...... 70 



1538. Jan. 31. Confederacy against the Turks, with the Duke as 
captain-general ...... 

,, Sept. 20. His sudden illness ...... 

,, ,, He returns to Pesaro ..... 

,, Oct. 22. His death from poison ..... 
His funeral obsequies and epitaph . 
His vicissitudes of fortune .... 
His fame has suffered from prejudiced historians 
His character and military reputation 
Opinion of Urbano Urbani .... 

And of Centenelli 

His dutiful conduct to Duchess Elisabetta 
His widow and testamentary dispositions 

His children 

Cardinal Giulio della Rovere .... 



1 2. 











1539. Jan. 8. 























Diminished interest of our subject . 

Birth of Prince Guidobaldo 

Educated by Guido Posthumo Silvestro 

His boyish taste for horses 

His marriage and its political results 

His succession to the Dukedom 

The ceremonial described by an eye-witness 

He compromises the Camerino succession, and loses 

the Prefecture .... 
Camerino annexed to the papal states 
The Duke strengthens himself by taking service with 

the Emperor and Venice 
Compliments Charles V., with Pietro Aretino in his 


Final abolition of the condottiere system . 

The Feltrian Legion embodied 

The altered condition of Italy .... 

And new policy of the papacy .... 

Reaction against the Reformation . 

Investiture of Guidobaldo as captain - general 

Venice ....... 

Death of the Duchess Giulia .... 

Letter of commissions from her 

The Duke's remarriage to Vittoria Farnese 

Death of Paul III 

And of Duchess Leonora .... 

Birth of Prince Francesco Maria II. 
San Marino under his protection 






Guidobaldo made governor of Fano 
He quits the Venetian service . 
The affairs of the Farnesi 
The Prefecture restored to the Duke 





1557- Aug. 26. 
1558. April 9. 




1574. Sept. 28. 


Marriage of Princess Elisabetta 

The Duke's domestic affairs 

He builds the palace at Pesaro 

The bigotry and ambitious nepotism of Paul IV. 

He sends Guidobaldo against the Colonna 

Rome nearly taken ..... 

He receives an engagement from Spain and the 

Golden Fleece 
The terms of his service . 
He sends his son to Spain 
His Discourse against the Turk 
His great expenses . 
Consequent increase of imposts 
Which occasions an insurrection at Urbino 
It is repressed by stringent measures 
Severities against the guilty 
The humiliation of the city 
The blot attaching to the Duke's memory from these 

events .... 

Letter of remonstrance to him 
His death and character . 
His children .... 









Feb. 20 




July II 




1574. Sep. 28. 


The autobiography of Duke Francesco Maria II. 
His birth and education ..... 

He goes to Spain by Genoa .... 

His account of Don Carlos's imprisonment 
His return home by Milan .... 

His studious habits ...... 

His marriage to Lucrezia d' Este announced by him 


Early coldness 

Congratulatory letters on the occasion 

Protestant doctrines at Ferrara 

He joins the Turkish expedition 

His account of the sea-fight at Lepanto . 

He succeeds to the dukedom .... 








Ceremonial of his investiture . 
Letter of advice from Girolamo Muzio 
The difficulties of his position . 
Overcome by prudence and moderation 
A conspiracy against him discovered 



1577. Unsatisfactory results of his marriage 

„ His separation from the Duchess 

„ His autograph Diary 

1582. He is taken into the Spanish service 
„ And receives the title of " Most Serene ' 

1583. Marriage of his Sister Princess Lavinia 
„ He builds the Videtta Villa . 

1586. And obtains the Golden Fleece 

„ List of officers at his court 

1588. His fondness for the chase 

1589 Other pastimes of his court 

,, His literary pursuits 

„ His hospitalities. Galileo 

1597. Oct. Death of the last Duke of Ferrara . 

1598. Feb. II. And of the Duchess of Urbino 
„ Clement VHL visits Urbino . 
„ His desire for the Duke's abdication 
„ The Duke's retired habits 
„ The anxiety of his people for his remarriage 
„ His singular appeal to them 

1599. April 26. He marries Livia della Rovere 
1602. Dec. 13. Death of Duchess Vittoria 




1605. May 16. Birth of Prince Federigo 

,, ,, Universal joy of the people .... 

,, ,, The Duke's pilgrimage of thanks to Loreto 

,, ,, 19. Baptism of the Prince, amid festive pageants . 

1606. The Duke's breeding stud .... 
„ His aversion to business, and retired habits 
„ Castel Durante his favourite residence 
„ He appoints a council of state .... 
„ A glance at the constitution establishments of Urbino 

1607. The unfortunate education of the Prince . 
„ His father's code of instructions to him . 

1608. His unpromising youth ..... 






1608. His betrothal to Princess Claudia de' Medici 

1610. His dissolute habits .... 

1616. He visits Florence ..... 

1617. Court pastimes at Urbino 

162 1. April 29. The Prince's marriage concluded 
,, Reception of the bridal pair . 
,, Francesco Maria resigns the administration of his 

state to the Prince .... 

,, And retires to Urbania .... 

1622. The Prince's reckless career, and debauched life 

1623. June 29. His sudden death ..... 
,, ,, The Duke's resignation .... 
,, Ominous warnings ..... 
„ Monumental inscription to the Prince 

1622. July 27. Birth of his daughter Vittoria . 

1623. Princess Claudia returns to her family 
,, The Duke rouses himself 
,, The difficulties of his position . 
,, Aug. 8. Election of Pope Urban VIII. 

1624. The Duke's negotiations with the Holy See 
„ Intrigues and threats employed against him 
,, He arranges the Devolution of his state to the Holy 

See ....... 

„ To which the people gave no consent 

1628. The terms of surrender ill kept 




1631. April 28. 



The Duke's monkish seclusion at Urbania . . 224 

His death there 225 

His funeral ........ 226 

Notices of his character by Donato, Gozze, and 

Passeri ........ 227 

His appearance and portrait ..... 230 

Letters of his domestic circle ..... 232 

Notices of Princess Vittoria ..... 239 

And of Duchess Livia ...... 239 

The Duke's will, and the amount of his succession . 239 

His libraries ........ 241 

The MSS. carried to the Vatican .... 242 

The printed books transported to the Sapienza at 

Rome 244 

Probable number of MSS 244 



1631. The duchy incorporated with the Ecclesiastical States 245 

To the great misfortune of the people . . . 246 
Conclusion ........ 248 


1400. The glory and progress of Italy while divided into 

many states 
1492-1530. Her long struggle against foreign aggression is closed 

in servitude 

i533~i6oo. Spanish domination fatal to manners, language, and 

literature ..... 

,, ,, This evil augmented by the Academies 

,, ,, The Assorditi of Urbino . 

,, ,, The influence of the Reformation, how excluded 

from Italian letters ..... 
,, ,, The age of rhetoricians and fulsome compliment 

u ,, Mathematics and engineering studied at Urbino 

1509-1575. Federigo Comandino of Urbino 

1544- Guidobaldo Marchese del Monte 

I529~i59i- Francesco Paciotti of Urbino .... 

-1560. Gian Giacomo Leonardi of Pesaro . 

1569-1639. Muzio Oddi of Urbino 

I553~l6i2. Bernardino Baldi of Urbino, his vast acquirements 

and numerous works . 
His Lives of Dukes of Urbino 
1496- 1 576. Girolamo Muzio of Capo d' Istria, biographer o 

the Dukes ....... 

'S55~i6o2. Federigo Bonaventura of Urbino 


Facilities of Italian versification 
Absence of traditionary ballads ... 
1508-1600. Poetry flourishes at Urbino .... 

1474-1533. Ludovico Ariosto ...... 

1515. He visits Urbino ; his room in the palace there 

,, ,, The qualities of his poetry .... 

1492-1557. Pietro Aretino, " scourge of princes" 

Mediocrity of his poetry, and baseness of his character 288 

1490-1547. Vittoria Colonna, Marchioness of Pescara 

,, ,, Her devotional character and poetry 

1522. Laura Battiferri of Urbino 

Other bards of that court 
Dionigi Atanagi ; specimens of his verses 
Antonio Galli and Marco Montani of Urbino 














1493-1569. Bernardo Tasso 298 

His early irregularities and services . . . 298 

1 53 1, Enters that of the Prince of Salerno . . . 299 

1539. His marriage and happy residence at Sorrento . . 299 

1544. March. Birth of his son Torquato ..... 300 

1552. Becomes a wanderer on his patron's disgrace . . 300 

1556, Death of his wife ....... 301 

1556. His appeal to the Prince 301 

,, Reaches Pesaro, where he resides for two years • 302 

1557. Reads his ^;«a(/^|^/ at that court .... 303 
1559. Sept. 28. Torquato intimates his death to the Duke of Urbino 305 

His poetry and correspondence .... 305 
His invention of the Ode 306 


Torquato Tasso, a subject of mystery and contradiction 308 
Count Alberti's recent impositions . . . • 3H 
Dr. Andrea Verga's theory of his insanity 
Is sufficient justification of the Duke of Ferrara 

1556. Torquato's arrival at Pesaro .... 

His early devotion to the muses 

1565. His first visit to Ferrara 

His compliments to the family of Urbino in the 
Rinaldo ....... 

His devotion to Princess Lucrezia d'Este, afterward 
Duchess of Urbino ..... 

157 1. His sonnet to her, and canzone on her marriage 

1573. His Aminta performed at Pesaro 

1574. His dangerous intercourse with her at Urbania 
„ She is separated from the Duke and returns to 

Ferrara .... 

1575. Tasso at Florence, — his portrait 

1576. Symptoms of mental disease . 

1577. Outbreak of insanity 

1578. He seeks shelter at Pesaro from ima 
„ His canzone to the Duke 

His long letter to him 

1579. He is shut up in the hospital of Sta. 

for seven years 
1587-1594. His subsequent wanderings 

Are closed at Rome 
1595. April 25. His farewell letter and death at S. Onofrio 

Retrospect of his life 

His rivalry with Ariosto . 

His the latest of Italy's great names 

gmary wrongs 

Anna at Ferrara 








1537-161 1. Battista Guarini of Ferrara 331 

1602-1604. Invited to Urbino 332 


1470- 1 520. The fine arts especially felt the impulse given to 

mind before 1500 335 

1520-1600. Tendency of the "new manner" to exaggeration 

and artifice 338 

1520-1600. New classes of subjects leading to new errors . . 341 

,, ,, Art under the patronage of the della Rovere became 

prolific ........ 345 

1476-155 1. Girolamo della Genga of Urbino, painter, architect, 

and engineer 347 

,, ,, The decorations of the imperial palace . . . 349 

1518-1558. Bartolomeo della Genga of Urbino, engineer . . 352 


1529-1566. Taddeo Zuccaro of S. Angelo in Vado, painter 

,, ,, He paints at Urbino, Rome, and Caprarola 

1543-1608. Federigo Zuccaro, painter .... 

His precocity and rapid execution , 

Paints at Rome, Venice, and Florence 

Is compromised by his satirical picture of Calumny 
1574. Visits England and paints portraits . 

Also Spain, where he was less successful . 
1583. His ideas of religious art .... 

1593. Chosen first president of St. Luke's Academy a 

Rome ......... 

His house there ...... 

His writings ....... 

The paintings of the brothers Zuccaro 

Their pupils and followers in the duchy . 

The Barocci a family of artists 
1528-16. Federigo Baroccio of Urbino . 

Is poisoned by jealous rivals . 

His best works 

His manner 

His pupils 
1560-1644. Claudio Ridolfi 

Painters of Gubbio 











Michael Angelo's monument of Julius II. 
His style and influence .... 
His monuments of the Medici . 
Titian patronised by the Dukes of Urbino 
His paintings for that court 

His Venus 

His letter to Duke Guidobaldo II. . 
Palma Giovane ..... 
Gianbattista Franco il Semolei 
Sculptures executed for Urbino 



Cultivation of the mechanical arts in Italy 

Watchmaking at Urbino 

Origin of majolica or earthenware . 

Influence of Luca della Robbia 

Majolica of Pesaro .... 

Finer qualities introduced there 

The drug-vases at Loreto 

Subjects for majolica painting . 

Decline of the art ..... 

Manufactory of it at Urbino . 

And at Gubbio ..... 

The forms and applications of majolica-ware 

Mottoes upon it .... . 

Artists chiefly employed 

Was Raffaele among them ? . . . 

Collections of majolica .... 





1572. April 20, Brief from Clement VII. to Duke Francesco Maria I. 427 
,, May 7. Letter from the Bishop of Moldula to the confederate 

leaders at the sack of Rome ..... 429 

,, ,, 20. Letter written from Urbino detailing the sack . . 429 

,, ,, 24. Despatch to Charles V. detailing it .... 433 

>» July 9- Letter of Duke Francesco Maria I. justifying himself 

to the Signory of Venice ..... 444 

1525-1527 Castiglione's negotiations at the Court of Madrid . 448 

1 57 1. Don John of Austria's armado at Lepanto . . 452 

1666. Indulgences belonging to a Corona .... 456 



1442. Monumental inscription to Count Guidantonio .... 458 

1444. To Duke Oddantonio 459 

1482. To Duke Federigo . 459 

1508. To Duke Guidobaldo 1 459 

1538. To Duke Francesco Maria 1 460 

1574. To Duke Guidobaldo II 460 

1602. To Duchess Vittoria . 460 

1578. To Cardinal Giulio della Rovere 461 

1523. To Prince Federigo 461 

1531 To Duke Francesco Maria II 461 

1632. To Princess Lavinia della Rovere ...... 462 

Statistics of Urbino . 463 

Revenues of the Duchy 464 

Its population 466 

Pietro Aretino's Sonnets on Titian's portraits of Duke Francesco 

Maria I. and the Duchess Leonora ..... 470 

Petition to Guidobaldo II. from the majolica makers of Pesaro . 472 
Letters from the Archbishop of Urbino to Cardinal Giulio della 

Rovere concerning a service of majolica .... 474 

List of pieces 475 

Collection of art made by the Dukes of Urbino . . . 476 

Pelli'slist . 478 

Venturi's list .......... 485 

The Pesaro list 488 


Note. — The Editor's notes are marked 
with an asterisk. 




ni.— B 




Causes which led to the sack of Rome — The assault — Death of Bourbon — 
Atrocities of his soldiery — -The Duke of Urbino's fatal delays — The 
Pontiff's capitulation and escape — Policy of the Emperor. 

OUR narrative of little interesting campaigns 
has now brought us to an event unparalleled in 
the horrors of modern warfare, by which the 
laws of nature, the dictates of humanity, the 
principles of civilisation were alike outraged. The sack of 
Rome inflicted a dire retribution for the restless shuffling 
that had disgraced the temporal policy of recent pontiffs ; 
it was the crowning mischief to a long agony of ultra- 
montane aggression ; and in it was spent one of the last 
mighty waves of barbarian aggression that broke upon 
the Italian Peninsula. 

Such are the difficulties in the way of a just and satis- 
factory judgment as to the causes which led to this outrage, 
that it may be well to review these, even at the risk of some 
recapitulation. The total demoralisation of Bourbon's 
army, the want of good understanding between him and 
other imperial leaders in Italy, the absence of zeal or 
common interests among the confederate powers and their 
officials, with the prevailing bad faith of all parties, form 


a combination of elements baffling to the historian as it 
must have been to the actors themselves. The petty 
motives and feeble measures of the Pontiff have already 
been amply exposed. Francis and the Venetians had 
originally entered the strife only from selfish views upon 
Lombardy, which they pursued without attempting any 
comprehensive or efficient operations, and, as soon as the 
storm had passed by them, their languor became indiffer- 
ence. Charles cared little for Italy, or the ill-defined 
claims of the Empire upon it, except as a fair field for 
aggrandising or securing, by intrigue or by arms, his 
already exorbitant dominions, and he left his officers there 
pretty much to their own discretion in the maintenance 
of his interests. His successive viceroys at Naples, per- 
ceiving the policy of Clement to be inherently adverse to 
their master's interests, were ever ready to annoy his 
frontier, or to cajole him away from the Lombard league. 
The Constable, finding that the cautious tactics of the 
Duke of Urbino kept his own movements in check, and 
impeded his appeasing with pillage a reckless host whom 
he could not pay, was ready to adopt any enterprise that 
might ensure occupation and plunder to his dangerous 
bands, not doubting that, whoever might suffer, success 
would justify him with the Emperor, to whose glory it 
must ultimately redound. 

As soon as the Pope had ratified the truce of the 
15th March, he, with an infatuation which even an empty 
treasury can ill excuse, dismissed two thousand of the 
bande 7iere who garrisoned Rome. A Swiss corps with- 
drew at the same time, on his refusal of their monthly 
pay in advance. When the imperialists drew southward, 
his chief care was for Florence, and, on hearing of the 
insurrection there, he sent one of his chamberlains to 
acknowledge Francesco Maria's good service, adding a 
vague hope that, in the event of Bourbon threatening 
Rome, he would contribute counsel and aid for its safety. 


In reply, the Duke recommended that Viterbo, and Mon- 
tefiascone should be secured, and Rome suitably defended 
by Renzo da Ceri and Orazio Baglioni, suggesting that 
his Holiness might betake himself to the strongholds of 
Orvieto or Civita Castellana : with these precautions, he 
added that an early and innocuous conclusion of the inroad 
would ensue, as the enemy, when shut out from plunder of 
the towns, must quickly disperse. But these counsels 
came too late, and, with a foolhardiness and folly savour- 
ing of judicial blindness, the Pontiff remained in the com- 
fortable conviction that Bourbon would take up his 
quarters at Siena, on the representations of Lannoy.*^ 
It was only about the 25th that his impending danger 
first dawned upon him. Rome had then, of regular 
troops, but two hundred foot and a few light cavalry, 
besides the Swiss guard, and the only officer of rank was 
Renzo da Ceri, whose personal courage and military 
capacity were in equal disrepute, and of whom Clement 
had on various occasions spoken with contempt. Yet 
upon this broken reed did he place his sole reliance for 
the defence of his capital. He commanded the weak 
points of the walls to be repaired and strictly guarded, 
distributing the artillery where most required. He pressed 
above three thousand men into his service ; but these 
hasty levies were of the most useless description, com- 
posed of artizans, servants, and the scum of the popula- 
tion, " more used to handle kitchen spits and stable forks 
than military weapons." Resorting to fanatical expedi- 

*^ The army would not hear of a truce. Bourbon, really at their mercy, 
as he knew before he crossed the Apennines, asked them what they wished 
to do. "To march on," replied the Spaniards, "even without pay." The 
Germans after a time, though hungry for their wage, made common cause 
with them. " To march on," became almost a war-cry, and Bourbon was 
compelled to consent. He sent word to the Pope before he got into Val 
d'Arno that his men " were determined to push on, not only to Florence but 
to Rome, and dragged him with them as a prisoner." He asked for 150,000 
ducats by April 15th to pay them with, that he might lead them back. The 
Pope, however, who had no faith in his power or honesty, sent nothing, 
trusting in Lannoy and that broken reed the Duke of Urbino. 


ents, he proclaimed a plenary remission of their sins to 
such as should fall in the sacred struggle. But the greatest 
difficulty was to raise money for these purposes : the 
wealthy classes were so absorbed in egotism and luxury, 
so deluded by false security, that they would contribute 
nothing. Domenico de' Massini, one of the richest of 
them, would lend but a hundred ducats, a refusal for 
which he and his family paid bitterly in the sack. On the 
nth of April, Girolamo Negri, a shrewd observer, wrote 
that the papal court had become a barn-yard of chickens, 
and that, though each day gave more manifest signs of 
evil times, every one relied on the Viceroy's mediation, 
failing which all would be lost. 

At this juncture there appeared in Rome one of those 
strange fanatics whose mysterious aspect and unearthly 
character, taking strong hold of the popular imagination 
at particular crises, impart a supernatural character to 
their wild and dismal vaticinations. He was an aged 
anchorite, who, fancying himself another Jonah, had long 
attracted street audiences by vague declamations of 
coming convulsions, and, as the peril became imminent, 
warned the anxious people that a total revolution in 
church and state, and the ruin of the priesthood, were at 
hand. Rushing along the thoroughfares, he preached, 
with piercing voice and excited gesticulation, a general 
penitence and humble reliance on the offended Deity, as 
the only shelter from the impending storm. He even 
forced his way to the presence of his Holiness, and, in the 
midst of the court, repeated gloomy warnings and stern 
denunciations in harsh words seldom heard in such high 
places. " But," in the words of an old writer, " repentance 
is an irksome sound to the ears of hardened sinners," and 
" more is required to make a saint than sackcloth raiment, 
a crucifix, and philippics against vice " ; so the prophet was 
committed to prison, to continue his preaching to a more 
limited audience. Yet it needed no stretch of supersti- 


tion to regard the sack of Rome, with its accumulated 
horrors, as a Divine judgment. The gross vices which 
disgraced the papacy towards the close of the preceding 
century had, indeed, been considerably modified ; but, as 
the reformation was rather in decency than in morals, it 
had not greatly influenced the people of Rome : the 
poison, though counteracted at the core, continued to 
circulate through the branches. In truth, the hearts of all 
were so indurated, and their judgment so blinded by 
pleasures, debaucheries, avarice, and ambition, that the 
forebodings of enthusiasts, and the many portentous 
omens of evil that occurred about the same time, were 
equally disregarded. Among these were, of course, blood- 
red suns and fiery meteors ; but it was afterwards re- 
membered that two aged men with long beards had been 
observed to stride solemnly along the chief thoroughfares 
of the city, bearing a large empty bag, and exclaiming at 
intervals with dolorous solemnity, " Behold the sack ! "^ 

The measures of the government, superficial as they 
were, generated false security ; and a general muster of the 
citizens which returned thirty thousand as capable of bear- 
ing arms, tended to confirm the fatal delusion. The Pope 
gave currency to it by setting forth on all occasions the 
reduced state of the imperialist army, the proximity of 
that of the league, and above all insisted that the invaders, 
being for the most part Lutherans, were no doubt con- 
ducted by Providence, to undergo a signal punishment for 
their heresies under the very walls of the Christian metro- 
polis. To such a height was this foolhardiness carried, that 
the messenger, who arrived on the 3rd of May to demand 

^ The play of words applies equally in Italian and English, and the 
incident savours much of a carnival jest. A scarce little book of prophecies, 
dated 1532, has for Envoye a sonnet, foreshadowing the woes of Italy in 
consequence of — 

" L' infando error de Sogdoma e Gomora, 
Le profanate sacre binde e tempi, 
L' occider Dio mille volte al hora." 

8 MEMOIRS OF THE • [1527 

free passage to Naples, was dismissed by Renzo with the 
threat of a cannon-ball at his head ; and on the following 
day the Datary wrote to Count Guido Rangone, that 
a reinforcement of six or eight hundred men would 
suffice for defence of the city. But ere the messenger 
was well clear of the gate, the enemy were before it.^ 

The inhabitants, at length aroused to their danger by 
the presence of an army whom they supposed at Siena, 
were thrown into general panic, though some were so 
blinded as to suppose it the advanced guard of the confed- 
erates. Even now, bold and judicious expedients might 
have defended the walls until the arrival of the allies, 
whose first division actually reached the Porta Salara the 
same day on which the city was taken ; and had the 
bridges been previously cut, as was urged upon Renzo in 
consideration of the weak defences of the Borgo S. Spirito, 
the principal portion of the city might have held out, even 
after these had been carried, whilst the Duke of Urbino 
would have had leisure to execute signal vengeance upon 
the ruffian invaders, demoralised by their leader's fall and 
by the pillage of its Transteverin quarters. 

It is by no means easy to form an idea of the actual 
force of the invading army from the varying estimates that 
have come down to us. Muratori, who bestowed much 

^ It is difficult to reconcile the varying accounts of the sack, for which, be- 
sides the many printed authorities, we have drawn largely upon a collection of 
unpublished and very minute details, Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1677. It is doubt- 
ful whether Bourbon arrived on the evening of the 4th or of the 5th of May, 
but the assault was unquestionably made upon Monday the 6th. Many of 
the incidents given in that MS. are too horrible for admission into these 
pages. The narratives of Guicciardini and Giacomo Buonaparte, and those 
printed in the second volume of Eccardius, may be consulted for such ; the two 
first, indeed, have done little beyond arranging some documents of that MS. 
collection. We have also consulted the Narrative of Leonardo Santori, Vat. 
Ottob. MSS. No. 2607, and Sanuto's MS. Diaries ; checking the whole by 
minute examination of the localities. * On the 3rd May Bourbon had passed 
Viterbo, on the 4th he was at Isola Farnese. As to the number of men 
which Renzo da Ceri had at command, 3000 seems nearer the truth than 
30,000. Bourbon had scaling ladders but no artillery. Cf. Guicciardini, 
// Sacco di Roma, Milanesi, p. 163, and Casanova, Lettere di Carlo V. 
a Clement VII. (per nozze Firenze, 1894). 


attention upon such military statistics, reckons the troops 
whom Bourbon carried from Milan at about five thousand 
Spaniards, four thousand Germans, and half as many 
Italians, besides five hundred men-at-arms, two thousand 
German cavalry, and an indefinite number of light horse, 
to whom were soon united the lansquenets of Friindesberg, 
originally fourteen thousand, but already somewhat re- 
duced. This would give a total of twenty-six or twenty- 
seven thousand men, which exceeds by a few thousand 
infantr)^ the calculation adopted by Giacomo Buonaparte, 
his multiplication of the men-at-arms by ten being ob- 
viously an accidental error. The same author supposes 
that the Imperialists who had marched from Montevarchi 
were about twenty thousand Germans, eight thousand 
Spaniards, three thousand Italians, with but six hundred 
horse. The impression current at Rome, and in the con- 
federate camp, that Bourbon brought from forty to fifty 
thousand men before that city was therefore grossly exag- 
gerated ; indeed, some authorities diminish his effective 
force to half that number, while Buonaparte esteems it 
under thirty thousand. The allied army, according to 
Baldi, was twenty thousand strong, of whom one fifth were 
cavalry : but it, too, had melted away when mustered at 
Isola, as we shall in due time see. On the whole, it ap- 
pears that the inequality of numbers was not such as to 
justify the Fabian tactics, or it may be the petted policy, 
of Francesco Maria. 

On Sunday, the 5th of May, the Constable bivouacked 
in the meadows north-west of the city, having approached 
it without crossing the Tiber. He repeated by trumpet 
his summons in name of the Emperor for free passage to 
Naples ; an idle insult, considering that the way beneath 
the walls lay open for him. He then explained to a 
council of his officers the perilous state of affairs,— the 
troops fatigued, starving, mutinous, with a powerful enemy 
pressing upon their rear, and the richest metropolis of 

lo MEMOIRS OF THE [1527 

Europe ill-defended before them, urging that there was no 
alternative but that night to conquer its effeminate citizens, 
or next day be cut to pieces by the allied host. But, 
finding these representations received with cold indiffer- 
ence, he at dusk repeated them to the whole army in an 
energetic harangue, which he concluded by assuring them 
he had received, through Cardinal Colonna, assurances of 
support from the Ghibelline party within the city. 

Ere the morrow's dawn his army was in motion, and, 
under cover of a singularly dense fog, approached the city 
between the modern gates of Cavallegieri and S. Pancrazio. 
The wall was there pierced by a loop-hole, serving as the 
window of a small and slightly built house that formed 
part of the defences ; below it was another aperture into 
the cellar. These vulnerable points, which had been un- 
pardonably overlooked by the papal engineers, were 
quickly noticed by the enemy, who brought the few guns 
they possessed to bear upon them, and soon effected a 
small breach. The exact site is loosely and contradic- 
torily described as between one of the gates and the 
tower of S. Spirito, near Cardinal Mellini's, or Ermellini's, 
garden. Meanwhile the besiegers, protected by the mist 
from the guns of S. Angelo, vigorously attacked various 
points ; and on the heights above the Strada Giulia, two 
Spanish colours were wrested from them. The walls and 
substructions now visible on that side, and those which 
separate the Lungara from the Borgo S. Spirito, are all of 
later date ; and in constructing them, sixteen years subse- 
quently, the aspect of the localities has been so changed 
as to baffle accurate comparison with descriptions of the 
assault. If we can suppose the external wall to have run 
from near the Porta S. Spirito towards that of S. Pancrazio, 
instead of being carried, as at present, along the Janicular 
ridge from the Porta Cavallegieri, it might be compara- 
tively easy to reconcile these statements. At all events, it 
is certain that considerable resistance was made by some 


citizens who occupied the Campo Santo or burying ground, 
which then lay just outside of the gate from S. Spirito into 
the Lungara, and which, according to a mural inscription 
there, was removed in 1749 to its present site farther up 
the hill. This, being the brunt of the battle, was occupied 
by Bourbon, whose exertions throughout the morning had 
been unremitting. Whilst steadying a ladder with his left 
hand, and cheering on his men with his right, he was struck 
to the ground by a bullet which passed through his thigh. 
The credit of that lucky shot, which cut short a career 
commenced in treason, closed in sacrilege, is claimed by 
Benvenuto Cellini. He tells us that on hieing to the 
Campo Santo with two comrades, he beheld from the walls 
the enemy assaulting the spot where they stood ; where- 
upon they discharged their pieces in terror, he aiming at a 
figure singled out in the mist from its commanding height. 
Having mustered courage to peep over the wall, he saw a 
great confusion occasioned by the Constable's fall, and, 
fleeing with his friends through the cemetery, escaped by 
St. Peter's to the castle of S. Angelo.*^ This assertion, 
which has generally passed for gasconade, receives support 
from the Vatican MS., wherein the shot is ascribed to 
some silversmith lads who, from the Mount of the Holy 
Crucifix, aimed at the general's white mantle and plume ; 
and a monumental tablet outside the Church of S. Spirito 
commemorates Bernardino Passed, goldsmith and jeweller 
to Clement and his two predecessors, who was killed on 
the 6th of May, on the adjoining part of the Janicular, 
after slaying many of the en-emy, and capturing a stand- 
ard. About five hundred paces to the west of that reach 
of the modern city wall which commands the Cavallegieri 
gate, there stands on the road to the Fornaci a small 
oratory, called the Capella di Barbone, and pointed out 
by tradition as the spot where Bourbon was wounded. 

*^ Cf. The Life of Benvenuto Cellini, trans, by J. A. Symonds (Nimmo, 
1896), p.- 65-6. 

12 MEMOIRS OF THE [1527 

No account, however, which I have seen, countenances the 
idea of his having fallen so far away ; nor is it possible, 
even when no mist intervenes, to see either that point, or 
the site of the present exterior city wall, from the old 
cemetery of S. Spirito, whence the fatal shot appears to 
have been aimed. But from whatever spot or hand it 
proceeded, the wound was mortal, and the Constable died 
in his thirty-ninth year, ere he could witness the dese- 
cration or share the booty to which he had stimulated his 
followers. Yet had God's just judgment on the traitor been 
withheld for a time, his influence might, perhaps, have 
stayed the fury of the soldiery, and Rome might have 
been spared some portion of the misery that ensued. His 
body was carried to Gaeta, and his armour is still shown 
at the Vatican, a plain coat of immense strength. It, 
however, bears an indentation on the inner side of the right 
thigh, where the fatal bullet entered after grazing its 
steel edge.^ 

For a moment his troops wavered, dismayed by their 
leader's fall ; but revenge and a consciousness of their 
perilous position rendered them desperate. The assertion 
of Mambrino Roseo, that the Swiss guard disputed every 
inch of the breach until only a drummer was left alive, 
wants confirmation from those narratives of eye-witnesses 
which I have examined. Be this as it may, it was about 
half-past eight that the first detachment, who had made 
their way into the Borgo, were observed by Renzo da Ceri. 
Instead of cutting them down with the body of horse who 
followed him, he in a loud voice gave the sauve qui pent, 
and, galloping round by the Ponte Sisto, reached that of 
S. Angelo, where he recklessly crushed and trod down 

^ In a set of miniatures executed by Giulio Clovio for Charles V., and 
illustrative of his military achievement, which were bequeathed by the Right 
Hon. Thomas Granville to the British Museum in 1847, Bourbon is repre- 
sented falling backwards from a ladder placed against a round tower on the 
walls of Rome ; but being composed without accurate knowledge of the 
localities, it throws no light upon the manner of his death. 


the citizens, already rushing across it in masses to the 
castle.*^ Had this craven caitiff rallied his men to the 
breach, it might have been repaired ; and had he but held 
the Porta Settimiana, or even now cut the lower bridges, 
the invaders would have been confined within a small 
district of the city, until Guido Rangone arrived with 

The panic thus originated by the city's defender spread 
rapidly in all quarters. The Pontiff, who, from his chair 
in S. Peter's, had been thundering spiritual menaces 
against the foe, was hurried along the covered passage to 
S. Angelo, whither also flocked the cardinals, clergy, and 
citizens of all ranks, in such crowds that it was found im- 
possible to close the gates. At length the portcullis was 
dropped, with great difficulty from its rusty condition, and 
several cardinals, who had been excluded, were afterwards 
drawn up in baskets. The terrified crowd who were thus 
shut out, rushed to escape by the city gates, but, finding 
these closed, they dispersed themselves among the palaces 
of the Ghibelline cardinals, upon which they vainly relied 
as sure asylums. 

About three thousand got into the castle, with fourteen 
cardinals. It was very ill supplied with provisions, and 
the neighbouring shops were hurriedly emptied of what- 
ever stores they contained. The Pontiff, in his alarm, 
would have attempted flight, but Bourbon's death inspired 
him with some hope of making terms. In fact, the 
besiegers, who had at first rushed in with cries of " Hurrah 
for Spain ! slay ! slay ! " soon paused, discouraged by the 
loss of their leader, and anticipating a desperate resistance. 
In this state of matters, the Portuguese ambassador was 
authorised by his Holiness to propose an accommodation 
to the imperialist chiefs, who, finding themselves in 

" Creighton justly remarks that this was not in keeping with Renzo da 
Ceri's character. The tale is from Guicciardini. Renzo da Ceri was cer- 
tainly no " craven caitifif." 

14 MEMOIRS OF THE [1527 

possession of but a fraction of the city, with walls and 
gates on either side excluding them from the S. Spirito 
and Trastevere quarters, temporised for some hours. But 
as the bulk of their army entered at S. Pancrazio, and 
they ascertained the panic in the town, their misgivings 
passed away, and about two hours before sunset they 
suddenly advanced through the Porta Settimiana, in Via 
Lungara. Encouraged by its defenceless state, they 
pushed across the Ponte Sisto, which they found equally 
unguarded, and spread like a deluge over the devoted 

Now began the horrors of the sack. The brutal 
soldiery, absolved from discipline, scoured the city at 
will, penetrating unchallenged into the most secret and 
most sacred places,*^ Churches and convents, palaces 
and houses, were invaded and rifled ; resistance was 
punished with fire and sword ; rape and murder were the 
fate of the inhabitants. Passing over details too revolting 
for the imagination to supply, but too repulsive for a 
place in these pages, we may cite the feeling exclamations 
of one who seems to have witnessed them : — " Alas ! how 
many courtiers, gentlemen, and prelates, how many devout 
nuns, matrons, and maidens became a prey to these 
savages ! What chalices, images, crucifixes, vessels of 
silver and gold, were torn from the altars by these 
sacrilegious hands ! What holy relics were dashed to 
the ground with derisive blasphemy by these brutal 

" They were of many nationalities — Germans, Spaniards, Italians — "a 
horde of 40,000 ruffians free from all restraint." They gratified their ele- 
mental passions and lusts at the expense of the most cultivated population in 
the world. The Germans were the worst: "the Lutherans amongst them 
setting an example which was quickly followed of disregard of holy places." 
The Spaniards, however, excelled them in deliberate cruelty. For three days 
this barbarism went on unchecked. On the fourth the barbarians began to 
quarrel amongst themselves over the division of the booty. " The Germans 
. . . turned to drunkenness and buffoonery. Clad in magnificent vestments 
and decked with jewels, accompanied by concubines who were bedizened 
with like ornaments, they rode on mules through the streets and imitated 
with drunken gravity the processions of the Papal Court." Cf. Creighton, 
op cit. , vol. VI. , pp. 342-3. 


Lutherans ! The heads of Saints Peter, Paul, Andrew, 
and of many others, the wood of the sacred Cross, the 
blessed oil, and the sacramental wafers, were ruthlessly 
trodden upon. The streets exhibited heaps of rich furni- 
ture, vestments, and plate, all the wealth and splendour 
of the Roman court, pillaged by the basest ruffians.^ 

After these miserable scenes had endured for three 
days, rumours of the Duke of Urbino's approach recalled 
the imperialist leaders to the necessity of defence.*^ The 
command having devolved upon the Prince of Orange, 
a yellow-haired barbarian, further plunder was prohibited, 
under severe penalties ; and the army, reduced to com- 
parative order, betook themselves to enjoy their booty. 
But now a new drama of atrocities opened. The 
Germans had especially distinguished themselves by a 
thirst for blood, but the wily Spaniards taught them a 
means more effectual than murder of enriching themselves 
and punishing their victims. The prisoners had, in most 
cases, concealed whatever of greatest value they possessed, 
and recourse was had to every variety of torment in 
order to extract from them supposed treasures, and a 
ransom for their lives ; so that those who had been spared 
in seeming mercy found themselves but reserved for a 
worse fate. After stripes and blows had been exhausted, 
when hunger and thirst had failed to force compliance, 
tortures the most brutal succeeded. Some were sus- 
pended naked from their own windows by a sensitive 
limb, or swung head downwards, and momentarily 
threatened to be let drop into the street. Others 
had their teeth drawn slowly and singly, or were 
compelled to swallov/ their own mutilated and roasted 

1 Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1677, f. 19. 

*'^ The Duke was very slow as usual. There was plenty of time for him 
to receive imploring letters. A career, which was a failure brought about 
by dilatoriness and treason, here seems to have reached its lowest point. 
As always, Dennistoun is too favourable in his judgment of anyone belonging 
to the Rovere house. 

i6 MEMOIRS OF THE . [1527 

members. Others were forced to perform the most odious 
and menial services ; and the greatest extremities were 
always used towards those who were suspected of being 
the most wealthy and noble. Even after the desired 
amount of gold had been thus extorted from them, their 
sufferings were sometimes resumed at the instance of new 
tormentors. When such cruelties palled, their inflictors 
had recourse to a novel amusement, by forcing from the 
victims a confession of their sins ; and we are assured 
by the narrator of these enormities, himself a Roman, 
that the iniquities thus brought to light, as habitual in 
that dissolute capital, were such as to confound even 
the licentious soldiery of Bourbon. Over the outrages 
committed upon the women we draw a veil : when lust 
was satiated, they were prolonged in diabolical punish- 
ment, the husbands and fathers being compulsory witnesses 
to such unspeakable atrocities. 

But the delight of these sacrilegious villains, especially 
of the German Lutherans, was to outrage everything holy. 
The churches and chapels, including the now blood- 
stained St. Peter's, were desecrated into stables, taverns, or 
brothels ; and the choirs, whence no sounds had breathed 
but the elevating chant of prayer and praise, rang with 
base ribaldry and blasphemous imprecations. The grand 
creations of religious art were wantonly insulted or dam- 
aged ; the reliquaries and miraculous images were pillaged 
or defaced. Nay, a poor priest was inhumanly murdered 
for his firm refusal to administer the blessed sacrament to 
an ass. Nor was any respect paid to persons or party 
feelings. The subjects of the Emperor who happened to 
be in Rome, the adherents of the Colonna and other 
Ghibelline leaders, were all involved in the general 
fate. Four cardinals attached to that faction had de- 
clined entering S. Angelo, calculating that they would 
not only 

" Guide the whirlwind and direct the storm," 


but peradventure, promote their own interests in the 
mel^e. They were, however, miserably mistaken, for they, 
too, were held to ransom ; and one of them (Araceli), 
after being often led through the streets tied on a donkey, 
behind a common soldier, was carried to church with mock 
funereal rites, when the office of the dead was read over 
his living body, and an oration pronounced, wherein, for 
eulogy, were loathsomely related all the real or alleged 
immoralities of his past life. Another outrage in especial 
repute with the Germans, was a ribald procession, in 
which some low buffoon in sacred vestments was borne 
shoulder-high, scattering mock benedictions among the 
mob, amid shouts of " Long live Luther ! " 

A great portion of the circulating wealth of the city 
was centred in the Strada de' Banchi, which, from being 
in a line with the castle and just across the river, was con- 
sidered comparatively secure. But this fallacious hope 
quickly vanished, and during five hours that quarter of 
bankers, merchants, and jewellers was savagely sacked in 
sight of the papal court. In one of these shops a large 
money bag being discovered, a general scramble ensued 
for its contents, and forty-two of the soldiery lost their 
lives at their comrades' hands, fighting for what proved to 
be counterfeit coin. The Jews, who were not then enclosed 
in the Ghetto, suffered a full share of such miseries, to 
make them disgorge their secret treasures. Vast multi- 
tudes of citizens took refuge in the palaces of the cardinals 
and principal nobility, especially of those supposed to be 
friendly to the imperial interests ; but these asylums were 
seldom respected. That of the Cancelleria, originally 
built by Cardinal Pietro Riario, and still one of the most 
spacious in the capital, was long spared ; but on the 20th 
of May its turn came ; and as it was the last to be pil- 
laged, the outrages perpetrated upon its miserable inmates, 
including numerous ecclesiastical and diplomatic digni- 
taries, with a crowd of the high-born beauties of Rome, 

III.— c 

i8 MEMOIRS OF THE • [1527 

were perhaps the most signal and sanguinary of all. In 
other palaces the fugitives, though spared from violence, 
vi^ere held to ransom. The Dowager Marchioness of 
Mantua purchased immunity for her residence with 10,000 
ducats, which the merchants whom it sheltered joined in 
paying, and which her son Ferdinando, one of the imperial 
leaders, was said to have basely shared. In the Vatican 
MS. is a backbond, signed by about five hundred persons, 
who had sought refuge in the palace of Cardinal Andrea 
della Valle, obliging themselves to repay, in sums varying 
from 10 to 4000 scudi each, the ransom of 40,000 ducats 
which he had advanced. Among the names is the King 
of Cyprus, and, what may have more interest for us, that 
of Peter Hustan from Scotland. The English Cardinal 
of St. Cecilia, Thomas Usher, Archbishop of York, was 
one of those who escaped into the castle. 

But where, meanwhile, was the army of the League ?*^ 
The Duke of Urbino, after quelling the insurrection at 
Florence, had lingered there for some days at the instance 
of the Cardinal Legate, who represented to him that Rome 
was amply provided with means of defence. Yet, upon 
learning Bourbon's advance, the confederates despatched 
Guido Rangone from Incisa, where their army lay, to 
anticipate by forced marches his arrival at that capital. 
Taking five thousand light infantry of the bande nere, with 
a large force of cavalry, he pushed on, and at Otricoli met 
the Datary's foolish missive of the 4th of May, which, 
declining further relief, asked for but a few hundred troops 
as enough for the wants of the city. The Count, however, 
paid no attention to this news, and, hurrying across the 
Campagna, heard near the Ponte Salara that the enemy 
had that morning penetrated the walls. Had he but 

*^ Where indeed ! The Duke of Urbino had left Florence on May 3rd, 
but it was the 22nd of that month before he reached Isola. Strangely enough, 
he marched much slower than the barbarians. 


known the real state of the army, or by a headlong dash 
risked his all in the noble enterprise, his name would have 
been honoured as the saviour of Rome. But his genius 
was unequal to the opportunity, and he retired to Otricoli 
to await the arrival of his chiefs. 

The Duke at length aroused himself, and moved rapidly 
forwards. On the 3rd he quitted Florence, and at Cortona 
separated the army into two divisions for facilitating the 
commissariat. One he led by Perugia, the other, under 
Saluzzo, took the Val di Chiana, with a common rendez- 
vous at Orvieto.*^ He was at the lake of Thrasimene on 
the day Rome fell, and arrested his march at Perugia to 
effect once more a revolution there, by substituting his 
friend Orazio Baglioni for Gentile, a partisan of the 
Medici. Santori justly observes, that " in the Duke of 
Urbino the desire of avenging old injuries was suspected 
to have prevailed over zeal for the honour of Italy and the 
safety of Rome" : indeed, this ill-timed gratification of an 
old grudge cost several precious days. On the 9th, his 
advanced guard were met at Casalino on the Tiber by a 
fugitive from Rome with news of the fall of that city, and 
again halted. Thus it was the i6th ere he joined the 
other division of the army at Orvieto, where it had 
preceded him by five days, and whence, after cruelly sack- 
ing Citta della Pieve, which refused supplies, he sent on a 
strong party of two thousand foot and five hundred horse 
to carry off the Pope. It was commanded by Federigo da 
Bozzolo, whose gallantry well qualified him for such an 

*' This amazing route is inexplicable. The way by the Val di Chiana 
was, of course, a highway to Rome. The way by Perugia, "with a 
rendezvous at Orvieto," is inexplicable. No more fatuous proceeding can 
be imagined. From Florence he would keep the Via Aretina so far as 
Arezzo, following it indeed thence to Rigutino to Camuscia to the Case 
del Piano in the Perugino close to Trasimeno. If he went thence to 
Perugia he was merely trying to delay his march. It was off the main route, 
and would lead him into the valley of Spoleto. From Perugia to Orvieto 
there was no good road. If he wished for a road to Rome via Perugia he 
should have joined the Via Flaminia at Foligno and followed it directly to 
the Eternal City. 

20 MEMOIRS OF THE [1527 

attempt ; but his horse having unfortunately fallen upon 
him near Viterbo, disabling him entirely, the command of 
the expedition devolved upon a subaltern, who, finding it 
daylight ere he came in sight of S. Angelo, and his orders 
being for a night attack, retraced his steps without com- 
municating with the castle. 

Three days were now passed in consultations among the 
leaders, of which we have varying accounts. Guicciardini 
of course represents them in the most unfavourable light 
for Francesco Maria.* ^ He tells us that neither the letters 
of the Pontiff, nor the entreaties of the Proveditori and the 
French general, could rouse the Duke's stubborn nature to 
active measures ; and he describes him as full of zeal in 
words and proposals, but ever interposing obstacles to the 
execution of any definite plan. On the other hand, Baldi 
asserts that an onward movement, suggested by the Duke 
at Isola,*^ was, to his great regret, overruled by these 
authorities, and by Guicciardini himself; whilst the Bishop 
of Cagli^ pleads as his excuse for inaction, that the Vene- 
tians, finding their duty very different from field-days and 
muster-rolls, refused to follow him, and even retired home 
in great numbers. But, assuming the truth of the last 
averment, should not the blame of such lax discipline 
attach to the general who had led these troops through 

*^ It is impossible to represent the Duke in a worse light than he appears. 
He behaved throughout the campaign like a selfish fool ; he seems never to 
have understood the gravity of the situation or the enormity of his crime. 
His biographer does not seem to understand it either. 

*~ As we know, he did not reach Isola till the 22nd. Rome was then 
sacked. If Guicciardini delayed, as Baldi says, we know that it was for 
some good reason, for his integrity and his patriotism cannot be questioned. 
We may well doubt Baldi's tittle-tattle. 

^ Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 818, f. 5. Sanuto has preserved a letter which he 
says gave the first authentic information of the sack to the combined leaders, 
and which urges them to exertion in most pressing terms. It will be found 
in II. of the Appendix, with two other letters detailing the principal 
incidents of that direful event in terms which, though in a great measure 
anticipated by our narrative, show the impression made by them at the time, 
and probably conveyed the fullest information of the catastrophe to the 
Duchess of Urbino and to the Emperor. See the Pontiff's brieves illustrating 
his feeble policy, No. I. 


several campaigns ? and may not the moral^ paralysis 
which impeded effective tactics in the army be fairly 
adduced in mitigation of their unauthorised furloughs ? 

At length an advance was agreed upon, and on the 
20th the head-quarters were at I sola di Farnese, nine 
miles from Rome, the Duke having marched by Nepi, and 
Saluzzo by Bracciano. Here distracted counsels again 
prevailed, and, in answer to urgent representations of his 
confederates, that the Pope must at all hazards be re- 
lieved, Francesco Maria ordered a muster of the army, 
which showed twelve to fifteen thousand men. Letters to 
the same purpose arriving from the Signory, and a mes- 
sage declaring that Clement had broken off a negotiation 
with his oppressors on the strength of speedy assistance, 
he at length consented that Rangone should once more 
attempt to bring off his Holiness, by leading a division 
to Monte Mario, whilst he advanced to his support with 
the main body as far as Tre Capanne. But on pretext of 
making a previous examination of the ground, he wasted 
so much time, that night had fallen when they reached 
that place ; and the expedition being thereby delayed 
until morning, a general feeling then prevailed that the 
force was inadequate, and the troops were thereupon 
withdrawn. An even less creditable version of this evolu- 
tion is given by an eye-witness in the Duke's service, 
who attributes as its motive the seizure of a quantity of 
booty, which had been removed from Rome to Monte 
Rotondo ; adding that, on seeing signal fires over the 
Campagna, and hearing a vague rumour that the enemy 
were approaching in force, the Duke suddenly faced 
about and regained his quarters, his men in sad plight, 
and the rear stripped to their shirts by some skir- 

^ Memoirs of Antenore Leonardi, dictated by him in 1581, Vat. Urb. 
MSS. No. 1023, f. 85. Among the works dedicated to Francesco Maria II. 
is a Treatise on Tides by Annibale Raimondo of Verona [1589], who had 
served under his grandfather in Lombardy, and at this time. In the pre- 

22 MEMOIRS OF THE • [1527 

In order to cut short such discreditable scenes, the 
Duke, at a council of war, announced his resolution to 
attempt no offensive operations until his army should be 
recruited by fifteen thousand Swiss, some ten thousand 
other troops, and forty pieces of cannon, with ample 
funds for their pay ; adding that, as S. Angelo was pro- 
visioned for three months, there would be sufficient time 
for raising these reinforcements. This opinion he em- 
bodied in a memorial, which he sent on the 30th from 
Isola, by the Bishop of Asti, to Francis I. It is pre- 
served by Baldi, and in Sermonetta's Letters, and offers a 
verbose, laboured, and inconclusive defence of his drivel- 
ling tactics. The burden of it is the inferiority of the 
allied force to the enemy, the probable failure of aggres- 
sive movements, and an urgent appeal that the King 
should come in person, as the only means of giving 
unanimity to a council in which each desired to lead. 
Indeed, the whole proceedings of the army attest the 

face, a somewhat inflated testimony is borne to that Duke's military talents, 
arguing that his tactics were ever aggressive when unimpeded by other 
leaders, who in the present instance prevented him from marching upon 
Rome. But the author was eighty-four when he wrote a statement palpably 
intended for an adulatory purpose, and his feeble or partial reminiscences 
cannot be considered of material weight. We have thought it right, in a 
passage so nearly touching the Duke of Urbino's fair fame, to embrace 
the conflicting views of our best authorities : the narratives of Paruta and 
Morosini, Venetians, who had no interest in his reputation, go far to recon- 
cile these and justify him. They tell us that the Signory, profoundly moved 
by the Pontiff's danger, sent pressing orders for their army to support 
him ; and that, in compliance therewith; Francesco Maria and the Pro- 
veditore Pisani resolved to advance upon Rome and rescue Clement, even 
at the hazard of a general engagement, but that the other Proveditore, 
Vetturi, formally protested against exposing the army to so great a risk : 
that disgusted by the failures brought on by these misunderstandings, the 
Signory superseded Vetturi, and grumbled against their general : that the 
latter, annoyed by unmerited reflections, wished to throw up his command, 
and that it was only after cool consideration, and flattering advances from 
the senate, that he consented to remain in its service. See his formal defence, 
App. III. * Nothing can justify him, and it is impossible to defend him with 
honour. After all the only excuse for a soldier is his success, and Francesco 
Maria knew not what success meant. The testimony of courtiers should go 
for nothing. History has tried him, and the ruin of Rome bears witness to 
the treason of this ineffectual Signorotto. The Pope surrendered Castel S. 
Angelo on June 7th. 


mutual jealousies and disunion of its leaders, which 
form the best justification of the Duke's dilatory measures, 
amid difficulties which he had not energy or decision to 

The Pontiff, thus abandoned to his fate, learned by better 

" With what a weight that robe of sovereignty 
Upon his shoulder rests, who from the mire 
Would guard it, that each other fardel seems 
But feathers in the balance." 

On the 1 8th he wrote to the Duke of Urbino, "amid 
these calamities and perils," begging a safe-conduct for a 
messenger as far as Siena, to induce Lannoy to repair to 
Rome, the envoy selected for this mission being Ber- 
nardo, father of Torquato Tasso. The Viceroy willingly 
responded to this summons, hoping to succeed Bourbon 
in command of the imperialists. But finding the Prince of 
Orange already chosen by the army to that post, he in 
disgust kept aloof from the capitulation, which was signed 
on the 5th of June, by the intervention of Gattinara. Its 
principal stipulations were these: i, A safe-conduct to 
Naples for his Holiness, and such of the cardinals as chose 
to go, upon payment of 150,000 golden scudi, two thirds 
whereof within six days, the remainder on the expiry of 
twenty. 2. Security for the personal property within the 
castle, upon payment of as much more, for which hostages 
were to be given until it could be raised by a general im- 
post or otherwise. 3. The removal of all censures from the 
Colonna, and their restoration to their estates and digni- 
ties. 4. The immediate surrender of S. Angelo, Civita 
Vecchia, Ostia, and Civita Castellana, with the further 
cession of Parma, Piacenza, and Modena to the Emperor, 
as an inducement for the army to evacuate Rome. This 
treaty was signed by nine cardinals, four bishops, and 
eighteen imperialist officers, and the castle was forthwith 

24 MEMOIRS OF THE ■ [1527 

consigned to a guard of the invaders, in whose hands the 
Pontiff and his court remained virtually prisoners.^ 

But many difficulties impeded completion of the re- 
maining conditions. The amount of ransom seems under 
various pretexts to have been considerably advanced, and 
is set down by most writers at 400,000 scudi. In order to 
raise this sum, all the church-plate, which had been saved 
in the fortress, was hastily coined into specie, and three 
scarlet hats were set up to sale. Two of them were at 
once secured for 160,000 scudi by the Venetians, am- 
bitious of influence in the conclave. The third was 
bought for a creature of Pompeo Colonna, whose personal 
hostility to Clement had become somewhat mitigated by 
grief for the sufferings he had brought upon the city, and 
who, in a pathetic audience with his master, obtained his 
forgiveness and benediction. Still, a large balance of the 
besiegers' demands remained undischarged, and the stipu- 
lation regarding the fortresses was nullified, Civita Castel- 
lana being in the hands of the allies, and Ostia occupied 
by Andrea Doria, neither of whom would acknowledge 
the capitulation. Parma and Piacenza were also held for 
the Church, in consequence, as was suspected, of instruc- 
tions secretly transmitted by Clement. In the hope of 
obtaining better terms, his Holiness successively directed 
more than one member of the Sacred College to proceed 
as legate to Charles, among whom was Cardinal Farnese, 
his successor on the papal throne; but none of them would 
execute the commission. 

Meanwhile the miseries of the city were fearfully aggra- 
vated. The terrified peasantry having ceased to carry 
supplies where they were sure of misusage, scarcity was 
succeeded by famine ; and the sewers, choked with bodies 
and abandoned to neglect, engendered a deadly epidemic, 
called by Muratori, the murrain, which spared neither 

1 Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1677, f. 38. 


friend nor foe. In August, the pestilence increased to a 
terrific degree ; and the invading army being reduced by 
long licence to an undisciplined horde, portions of it 
rushed in masses from the city of the plague. Some of 
these bands, after attempting to hang the Pope's hostages, 
fled towards Terni and Spoleto, sacking the towns on 
their way, until cut to pieces by the confederates. Nor 
was the Pontiff exempt from scenes of suffering. Asses' 
flesh was served at his table ; and a greengrocer's wife was 
hanged before S. Angelo, for dropping into the trenches a 
few salad leaves for his use. The contagion spread so 
rapidly in the castle, that the invaders, fearing their prey 
might slip from their grasp by death, removed his Holi- 
ness for some weeks to the Vatican Belvidere, until the 
scourge had abated. 

Lannoy, having fallen a victim to the disease, was 
succeeded as viceroy by Ugo da Moncada, from whose 
mercy Clement knew he had nothing to expect, and 
whom Santori characterises as " an experienced, clever, 
and sagacious man of the world, devoid of religion, full of 
fraud, and no observer of his word." He arrived on the 
31st of October, in order to effect some new arrangement, 
when the Pope purchased by further large sums an exemp- 
tion from several of the former stipulations, in particular 
from putting himself and his cardinals into his enemy's 
hands by going to Naples.^ To raise this fresh imposition, 
four more hats were thrown upon the market, and were 
purchased by adherents of the Emperor. At length, after 
many delays, the 9th of December was fixed for his 
liberation from a seven months' virtual captivity ; but, 
distrusting every one, he escaped in disguise the previous 
night. Concealing his face and beard under an old slouch 
hat and cloak, and laden with baskets and bags, he passed 
the sentinels of S. Angelo as a pedlar or menial servant. 

^ The new treaty of November 26 is printed by Molini in the Docuiiunti 
di Storia Italiana, I., 273. 

26 MEMOIRS OF THE [1527 

At a secret postern in the Vatican garden, he found a fleet 
horse, with a single attendant, supposed to have been pro- 
vided by Cardinal Colonna, and, riding all night by Celano 
and Baccano, after a short repose at Capranica, he reached 
Orvieto, which he had some days before fixed upon as an 
interim residence. 

The diplomatic relations of the Holy See at Madrid 
were at this juncture in the hands of Count Castiglione, 
with whom we have formerly become acquainted in the 
service of Dukes Guidobaldo and Francesco Maria, and 
whom we last noticed as agent for the Marquis of Mantua 
at the Roman court in 1522, where he was again sent in 
the same capacity on the election of Clement VH. The 
position of the new Pontiff soon became one of great 
delicacy, and already were those difficulties closing around 
him, which, during his reign, completed the first great 
breach in the Romish church, and consummated the 
mischiefs of foreign invasion in the Peninsula. The 
struggle for universal dominion of those youthful rivals 
who occupied the thrones of France and the Empire, was 
convulsing civilised Europe, and Italy was obviously fated 
to become the permanent prey of the victor. In these 
circumstances, a character so deficient in energy and 
decision was singularly inadequate to cope with the 
necessities of the times ; and Clement's influence at 
Florence, far from affording a prop to the tottering 
papacy, tended yet more to distract his irresolute purpose. 
Falling back upon the usual expedient of small minds, he 
adopted a neutral attitude between the two contending 
potentates : but the days were past when Pontiffs could 
grasp the balance of power, or curb a dangerous ascend- 
ancy ; and Clement's views aimed not beyond siding with 
a momentary victor. To carry out such policy fine 
diplomacy was requisite, and Castiglione was selected to 
watch the interests of Rome at the Spanish court. In the 


autumn of 1524, he accepted this Nunziatura, to which 
was joined the lucrative collectorship of Spain ; and after 
visiting the shrine of Loreto, he reached Madrid in the 
following March. 

His negotiations for the next four years embraced the 
politics of Europe, to which those of Italy were but an 
episode. We cannot interrupt the thread of our narrative 
to notice them : a sketch of their progress, in No. IV. of 
the Appendix, may afford some idea of the difficulties 
of Castigiione's position, as the medium of communication 
between a master who, leaving him habitually without 
information, recalled his most momentous instructions 
after they had been acted upon, and a monarch whose 
public measures were in uniform contradiction to his 
private assurances. That diplomacy so conducted should 
have issued in disgrace to Clement, ruin to Rome, and 
a broken heart to Count Baldassare, can excite no as- 
tonishment ; but the ambassador merits our pity rather 
than our blame. Indeed its complicated intrigues may 
well drive the historian and the critic to despair. Inci- 
dents, which, although attended by important conse- 
quences, seem sudden and unlooked for, might, upon 
more accurate scrutiny, be detected as results long aimed 
at, and patiently wrought out. Thus, some documents 
lately published by Lanz^ prove that Charles, although 
disposed to yield much for a satisfactory accommodation 
with Clement, had authorised Moncada, early in the 
summer of 1526, to concert with Cardinal Pompeo Co- 
lonna a series of domestic insurrections, in order to em- 
barrass his Holiness into a disposition for peace, the issue 
of which machinations we have seen in the first sack of 

Although the acts of Charles and his generals during 

^ Lanz Correspondenz des Kaisers Carl V. See also the delightful and 
well-edited Lettere di Castiglione by Skrassi. Cf. also Casanova, Lctiere di 
Carlo V. a Cleiiuni VII. (per nozze, Firenze, 1S94). 

28 MEMOIRS OF THE [1527 

1526-7 were uniformly and aggravatingly hostile to 
Clement, and prejudicial to the papacy, they must be 
regarded as in some measure forced upon him by the 
shuffling of his Holiness. His own position and prospects 
were not then by any means so secure as to render re- 
dundant the support still carried by the influence of the 
Keys; and the cherished aim of his manhood, which would 
have united Western Europe in one faith and under one 
sway, had not yet been abandoned as a fitful dream. By 
keeping in view these peculiarities in his situation, we 
may in some measure reconcile the obvious contradictions 
between his professions and his policy — between his lan- 
guage to Castiglione and the conduct of Bourbon ; and 
we may appreciate in their true sense such apparently 
fulsome and false expressions as he thus addressed to 
Clement, on the i8th of September, 1526: — "And since 
God has constituted us two as mighty luminaries, it 
behoves us to endeavour that the globe should be en- 
lightened by us, and to see that no eclipse occur through 
our differences ; let us, then, take counsel together for the 
general weal, for repressing barbarian inroads, and re- 
straining sectarian error." At a moment when the eastern 
frontier of the empire had been broken down by the 
victorious Crescent ; when the crowns of Hungary and 
Bohemia were tottering on his brother's brow ; and when, 
as he writes in 1526, the wars of Italy had extracted 
every ducat from his treasury, we may well suppose how 
sincere was his wish for a settlement of those protracted 
struggles within the Alps, and for a union of interests 
with the Holy See. That his measures little accorded 
with that object, and nowise tended to bring it about, 
arose less from want of sincere intention than from an 
ill-judged mixture of good words and hard blows, partly 
dictated by his own deficient judgment, partly by the 
misapprehension of his officers. Though therefore the 
pillage of Rome by the Colonna was a natural con- 

From the picture by Titian in the Frado Gallery. Madrid 


sequence of his own intrigues, the regret he expressed to 
the Pontiff that his people had been driven to it ["que 
Von ait donne l' occasion a mes gens que tel desastre soit 
advemc "] was, no doubt, his real feeling. 

Equally inconsistent in appearance, but natural in the 
circumstances, was his conduct in reference to Bourbon's 
outrageous proceedings. When news of the sack reached 
Madrid, he affected great indignation, and put his court 
into mourning. On the 25th of July, he addressed to the 
magistracy of Rome a letter defending his proceedings. 
After narrating his liberation of Francis, and the various 
other sacrifices made by him, preliminary to such a 
general pacification as might enable all Christian powers 
to unite their arms against the Infidel, he charged the 
Pope with defeating this scheme by suddenly, and with- 
out reason, instigating an attack upon him and the 
imperial dignity, whereby he was compelled from self- 
defence to march fresh forces upon Italy, in what he 
regarded as a worse than civil broil. Moreover, new 
alliances against him having been arranged by his Holi- 
ness, and the truce actually broken, his troops had no 
alternative but to adopt compulsory measures. That 
these should, by the blunders of his officers, have led to 
the siege of the city, without his knowledge, he deeply 
regretted, and gladly would shed his best blood to repair 
its disasters. But great as had been the sacrifice, he 
consoled himself with a hope of its paving the way for a 
general peace, which he would do his utmost to accelerate. 
In fine, he wound up with most sonorous professions of 
devotion to the grandeur of the Roman name.^ 

The Pontiffs natural dissatisfaction with his ambassador 
at Madrid was very plainly expressed in a letter of the 
20th of August, which taxed him with undue reliance 
upon the Emperor's vague protestations, imputing gener- 

1 Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1677, f. 36. 

30 MEMOIRS OF THE ' [1527 

ally to him a want of foresight preceding the calamity 
of Rome, and a neglect of the proper remedies for that 
mischief To this brief, Castiglione answered at consider- 
able length, and with unnecessary dififuseness, as soon as it 
reached him in December.^ The substance of his defence 
is that, on every occasion during the four years of his 
mission, he had laboured to establish a good understanding 
between his Holiness and Charles, and had been met with 
assurances, verbal and written, of his Majesty's anxious 
desire to meet these views ; but that the great distance, 
and the delays of communication with Rome, not only 
rendered it impossible to provide for the successive ex- 
igencies as they arose, but left him entirely in the dark 
as to the most important movements until too late to 
avert impending mischief Thus he had no intelligence 
of the truce arranged with Lannoy on the 15th of March, 
till he heard of its being rejected by Bourbon. These 
excuses ostensibly satisfied Clement ; and, however in- 
adequate they might be deemed in ordinary cases of diplo- 
matic blundering, they may be allowed some weight in 
this instance ; for, although the Emperor could scarcely 
fail to anticipate from the sack of Rome new facilities 
for domination in Italy, in consequence of the perma- 
nent humiliation of the papacy, history must acquit 
him of a preconcerted plan to bring about a catastrophe 
which incidentally resulted from Bourbon's disobedience 
and the disorganisation of his army. Indeed, had Charles 
been as much interested in the welfare of the Eternal City 
as Castiglione himself, he would have been powerless to 
arrest the destroyer, whose death had removed him from 
all reckoning on this side of the grave, and prevented his 
master from sacrificing him in token of good faith. It is, 
however, impossible to regard without contempt the 
hollow professions of an autograph letter addressed by the 

^ Letter e de Pjtncifi, i., 83. 


Emperor to Clement, on the 22nd of November, wherein 
he congratulated his Holiness on his supposed liberation, 
thanking God for it " with joy as sincere as was the grief 
with which I heard of your detention from no fault of 
mine." Avowing himself his most humble and loyal son, 
ready to use every effort for the restoration and increment 
of the apostolic dignity, he besought the Pontiff to credit 
nothing to the contrary that might be inserted by false 
and interested suggestions.^ 

Such are the considerations which seem calculated, and 
not altogether inadequate, to account for the eccentric 
policy and hollow professions of Charles, in so far as we 
can gather from the strange events thus briefly sketched. 
But, if we are to rely upon a different view brought for- 
ward by the Sieur de Brantome in his anecdotes of 
Bourbon, the advance of the imperialist army was not 
dictated from Madrid. In his gossiping and often apocry- 
phal pages is detailed a conversation held by him at Gaeta 
with a veteran, who in youth had been with the Constable, 
and who imputed to that renegade an intention of seizing 
upon the sovereignty of Rome. His overweening vanity 
and unbounded ambition countenance the idea, and the 
way in which he is there stated to have conciliated his 
soldiery, by pandering to their worst passions, gives colour 
to the charge. If it be credited, Clement's indignation 
was misplaced, and Charles might have defended his con- 
sistency at the expense of his pride, could he have de- 
meaned himself to acknowledge having been baffled and 
betrayed by his own general. 

Thus ended the Sack of Rome. No similar calamity 
had befallen the Holy City since the devastation of Robert 
Guiscard, who, four centuries and a half before, at the 
head of his Apulian Normans, laid in ruin and ashes the 

^ Letter ede^ Principi, I., 71, no. 

32 MEMOIRS OF THE • [1527 

most monumental portion of the imperial capital. On this 
occasion, fewer remains of antiquity were exposed to de- 
struction, but the people suffered far more severely. From 
four to six thousand of them fell in the first fury of the 
barbarians, besides many who perished by more mature 
cruelties. Thirty thousand are said to have sunk under 
the famine and pestilence which, during many subsequent 
months, ravaged the devoted city, leaving only about as 
many more for its entire population, which, accord- 
ing to Giovio, had, ten years before, amounted to eighty- 
five thousand. The value of property pillaged and de- 
stroyed was supposed to exceed two millions of golden 
ducats ; the amount extorted in ransoms has been stated 
at a nearly equal sum. So general a pauperism ensued, 
that regular distributions were long continued from the 
papal treasury, drained as it had been. But a great revival 
of religious observances followed, being inculcated by the 
clergy and government, and practised very generally 
among the inhabitants, whose oblivion of such duties, and 
addiction to debauchery, usury, and every grovelling pur- 
suit, had hitherto been scandalously apparent. Through 
out all these scenes of misery, the Pontiff had bewailed 
the misfortunes of his subjects more than his own suffer- 
ings, and had penitently confessed himself their author. 
It was not till the 6th of October, in the following year, 
that he returned to his capital, pale and thin, languid and 
disheartened ; and at the moment of his arrival, a preter- 
natural storm burst over the city, succeeded by a most 
destructive flood. Nor were such omens out of season. 
In him had set the ancient glory of the papacy. From the 
moment that his predecessors, mingling in the arena of 
international strife, descended from arbiters to parties in 
the conflicts of Europe, their influence waned. When they 
had to canvass for the support of temporal sovereigns, they 
ceased to command them. But, after Clement was reduced 
to sue for personal protection to the successor of one who 


had knelt before a pontiff, the prestige of papal power 
was gone, its sceptre was shivered in the dust.^ 

' The name Ci.kmknt has been remarked as unlucky for the papacy. 
Under Clement V. the Holy See was translated to France ; under Clement 
VI. the metropolitan church of the Lateran was burnt ; Clement VII. saw 
Rome pillaged by an army of transalpine heretics, and capitulated to them. 

III.— D 


The Duke's mischievous policy — New league against Charles V. — A French 
army reaches Naples — The Duke's campaign in Lombardy — Peace re- 
stored — Siege of Florence — Coronation of the Emperor at Bologna — The 
independence of Italy finally lost — Leonora Duchess of Urbino — The 
Duke's military discourses. 

WE must now return to the confederate camp 
at Isola, which the Duke of Urbino broke 
up, after having eased his conscience by- 
sending to Francis I. the explanation of 
his views to which we have referred. The general feeling 
regarding his conduct was testified by a speedy withdrawal 
of many forces under his command, some deserting to the 
enemy, others retiring to their homes. On the 1st of June, 
he was at Monterosi, and thence fell back upon Viterbo 
and Todi, where he obtained some inglorious successes 
over the imperialist bands, as they fled in disorder from 
plague-stricken Rome. During the autumn his troops, 
which gradually diminished to a few thousands, led a life 
of disreputable pillage about the valley of the Tiber ; and, 
after again embroiling himself in the affairs of Perugia 
with little credit or success, he interfered in the succession 
of Camerino in a way which we shall find eventually preg- 
nant with mischief to his son. On the Pontiff's arrival at 
Orvieto, he hastened to wait upon his Holiness, and put 
forward the Venetian commissioner to make a laboured 
justification of his recent miscarriages. Clement, affecting 
contentment with what was beyond redress, received him 
cordially, and hinted at a union of his son Guidobaldo 
with Caterina, daughter of his late competitor, Lorenzo de' 



Medici. But ere long he reaped the fruit of his feeble 
policy, by hearing that he was spoken of in the most dis- 
paraging terms by the gallant Francis I., and by the 
French general Lautrec. 

Still more mortifying to him was the distrust shown by 
his Venetian employers. We learn from Sanuto's Diaries 
that, early in May, his Duchess had repaired to Venice, 
with the young Guidobaldo and a suite of forty persons, 
while the visits passing between her and the imperial am- 
bassador soon became matter of unfavourable comment. 
On the 29th of June, a guard of barges was placed near 
her residence, to intercept any attempt at escape ; and on 
the envoy from Urbino questioning this proceeding, the 
Doge said, in explanation, " We have much reliance on our 
Captain from past experience, but what has been done 
was to satisfy the vulgar." Hearing that his wife and son 
were thus under surveillance, as hostages for his good 
faith, the Duke, on the 9th of July, penned a remonstrance 
and justification, somewhat similar to that which he had 
transmitted to the French king. It will be found in the 
Appendix, No. HI., and, though a most inconclusive 
defence, it was well received by the Signory, and his family 
were so far released from constraint, that, early in August, 
the Duchess was allowed to go for health to the baths of 
Abano. News of her departure from such a cause were 
little consolation to her lord, who declared that, were she 
to die, he should be in despair. Remembering, however, 
the fate of Carmagnola, he would not venture in person to 
Venice, until he had twice sent his confidential friend 
Leonardi to reconnoitre the state of feeling there. Re- 
assured at length, by pressing invitations from the Signory, 
he in the spring took ship at Pesaro with a small suite, and 
was met upon landing by an escort of twenty gentlemen 
in scarlet, who conducted him to his lodging. Next day 
he was admitted to the interview which he had demanded, 
and was received at the top of the great stairs by the 

36 MEMOIRS OF THE [1527 

Doge, followed by the principal senators. After mutual 
embraces, the Duke was led to a seat of honour, and had 
audience for an hour and a half. This being concluded, 
the public were admitted to see their Captain-general, who 
was richly decked in diamonds, with a massive bracelet of 
twisted gold on his left arm, and a jewelled device in his 
cap. On returning to his apartment, he had from the 
Signory the customary compliment of confections, malm- 
sey, and wax lights. It would be hard to say how far he 
was indebted to his oratory for this happy extrication from 
his difficulties ; but we are told by one of his suite that 
many of the nobility, who crowded to pay their respects, 
besought a sight of his speech to the senate, insisting that 
so eloquent an oration must needs have been written and 
committed to memory.^ 

Thinking it well to retire with flying colours, he next 
morning took his departure; and his party, being chal- 
lenged by three of the patrol for riding armed, answered 
by beating them to death. The same intemperate be- 
haviour brought him ere many days into a new dilemma 
with his employers. Gian Andrea da Prato, an officer of 
the Republic, having somewhat disrespectfully combated 
his opinion as to the defences of Peschiera, received from 
him a severe blow in the face, tearing it with a diamond 
ring he happened to wear, which was followed up by a 
severe beating with his baton of command ; Leonard! 
adding that it was well for him the Duke was unarmed. 
The Venetian officers, protesting against this violence as 
an insult to the Signory, and as incompatible with due 
freedom of discussion in council, sent a complaint to the 
senate ; but the Duke's resident minister succeeded in 
averting their indignation by explanations. Their satis- 
faction with his services under the banner of St. Mark was 
further testified by presenting him with a palace worth 

^ Leonardi's Memoirs, Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1023, f. 85. Most of the pre- 
ceding details have been gathered from Sanuto's Diaries. 


10,000 scudi, which may fairly be taken into account as 
countervailing the strictures of Guicciardini and Sismondi. 
The capture of Rome being known, a new coalition was 
hastily patched up, wherein France, England, Venice, and 
Florence were parties, and to which the free cardinals, in 
name of the Sacred College, adhered. Its avowed object 
was to check the exorbitant power of Charles in 
Italy, and to establish Francesco Sforza in Milan, then 
held by Antonio della Leyva for the Emperor. A power- 
ful French army under Lautrec marched on the 30th of 
June, and, on its arrival in Lombardy, the Venetians 
recalled most of their forces from Central Italy. On the 
4th of October Pavia was taken and miserably sacked, and 
Milan might have become an easy prey had not Lautrec 
preferred advancing for the Pope's liberation. But, having 
lost time in extorting contributions from Piacenza and 
Parma, he had only reached Reggio when he heard of his 
escape from durance. Clement, though avowing gratitude 
for these exertions on his behalf, declined committing him- 
self by any overt act against the Emperor, whose troops 
still occupied Rome. 

The year which now closed is justly characterised by 
Muratori as the most fatal and lamentable for Italy that 
history has commemorated. The horrors of war, which, 
during its course, were poured in accumulated measure 
upon the Eternal City, fell largely upon many other parts 
of the Peninsula. Four foreign armies were let loose upon 
her plains, to steep them in misery, and the enormities 
attending the sack of Rome were repeated at Pavia, 
Spoleto, and a multitude of minor towns in Lombardy 
and Central Italy. The furies of civil broil were mean- 
while scarcely less rampant. The Campagna of Rome, 
the sunny shores of Naples, the towns of the Abruzzi, 
were ravaged or revolutionised by the arms and intrigues 
of the Pontiff. Florence, Siena, Modena, Rimini, Ravenna, 

38 MEMOIRS OF THE [1527 

Perugia, and Camerino changed their governments, under 
pressure of foreign force or domestic violence. Nor were 
the elements more propitious. Incessant rains destroyed 
the harvest, and laid whole districts under water. With an 
unusual demand upon agricultural produce, the supply- 
was greatly curtailed. Famine reigned throughout the 
land, and pestilence desolated the population. The 
inhabitants, reduced to general mendicity, beset the 
streets and highways with their squalid children. Their 
murmurs by day and their screams by night met with 
rare responses from passers-by as needy as themselves ; 
and at length, worn out with suffering, they laid them 
down to die. It was during this year of general gloom 
that Machiavelli closed his life ; and to it specially applies 
that passage in his Principe (whether then interpolated or 
written long before) describing the prostration of his native 
land. " Conquered, enslaved, divided — without leader or 
law — beaten, spoiled, partitioned, overrun, and in every 
way ruined — she lay half lifeless, awaiting some one to 
heal her wounds, to arrest the robbery, pillage, and forced 
taxation of her states, to heal her long-cankering sores." 

To this hideous but faithful picture one finishing touch 
is wanting. Alarmed by Lautrec's advance upon Naples, 
the Prince of Orange at length, on the i6th of February, 
gave orders for the evacuation of Rome. But his army, 
now crumbled away to some thirteen thousand men, re- 
fused to march without an advance of pay, for which a 
final contribution of 20,000 ducats was wrested from the 
Camera. Not satisfied with this, the brutal soldiery re- 
doubled their individual efforts, by every ingenuity of 
torture, to screw more treasure or ransom from the 
wretched inhabitants. But a summary vengeance awaited 
them. Such of the citizens as had arms secretly left the 
city, and, as their relentless foes straggled heedlessly across 
the Campagna, laden with spoil, they, by a succession of 
furious charges, recovered a vast quantity of the plunder, 


and, stripping the rapacious soldiery of their gala dresses 
and rich jewels, dismissed them naked. In this state the 
exasperated peasantry, headed by Napoleone Orsini, the 
warlike Abbot of Farfa, set upon and massacred them 
without mercy. So signal was these miscreants' fate that, 
in two years, scarcely one of them is supposed to have 

After delaying for some weeks at Bologna, to abide 
the issue of many intricate negotiations which followed 
upon the Pontiff's release, Lautrec advanced, by the 
eastern coast, to attack the kingdom of Naples, His 
army is estimated by Muratori at about fifty thousand, 
though stated by others at a much higher amount. On 
the loth of February, he passed the frontier by the Tronto, 
and at Aquila, and elsewhere in the Abruzzi, was received 
with open arms by the remnant of the Angevine party. 
On the 1 2th of March, the two armies were in presence 
at Troia ; but, neither of them being anxious for a de- 
cisive result, no engagement followed. After ravaging 
most of La Puglia and Calabria, the French troops sat 
down before Naples, on the 29th of April, and continued 
the siege during most of the summer. Once more did 
that delicious land, where the ancients placed their 
Elysian fields, and which is the terrestrial heaven of 
modern Italians, prove fatal to its spoilers. Its soil, fertile 
in nature's choicest products ; its bright atmosphere, redo- 
lent of beauty ; its climate, conducive to luxurious gratifi- 
cations; its volcanic air, stimulating to sensual indulgences ; 
its breezes, wafting perennial perfumes — all invited to an 
excess of enjoyment, enervating to the physical, as it was 
fatal to the moral energies of the invaders. Their cup of 
pleasure was drugged, and Naples was avenged on her 
destroyers by her own poisons, which they greedily quaffed. 
A contagious pestilence swept their ranks, and, on the 
15th of August, carried off their leader. Weakened and 

40 MEMOIRS OF THE " [1528 

discouraged, the remnant shut themselves into Aversa, 
but were soon forced to a capitulation, which being vio- 
lated, most of them were cut to pieces. 

To counterbalance Lautrec's expedition, the Emperor 
had ordered more troops across the Alps, and, in the be- 
ginning of May, Henry Duke of Brunswick brought four- 
teen thousand Germans through the Tyrol to the Lago 
di Garda. On the first alarm of their approach, the Duke 
of Urbino made the most of a handful of troops under 
his command, to protect the Venetian mainland territory ; 
and his biographers give him great credit for defensive 
measures which ensured their towns from attack, and 
obliged the invaders to move upon the Milanese. Pavia 
having been, about the same time, surprised by della 
Leyva, Lodi alone remained in Sforza's hands, and before 
it the Duke of Brunswick drew his lines. But the de- 
struction of his magazines by Francesco Maria reduced 
his army to great straits ; and a virulent epidemic having 
carried off two thousand of his men, the residue broke up 
and made their way homewards, after their first assault 
had been sharply repelled. 

In September, the Duke of Urbino's little army was 
reinforced by a strong body of Swiss infantry and French 
lances, led by St. Pol, and it was resolved to recover Pavia. 
Scarcely was the siege begun when news of the desperate 
state of the French before Naples induced St. Pol to pro- 
pose withdrawing his contingent to the succour of Genoa, 
which, in consequence of Andrea Doria suddenly passing 
over from the side of Francis to that of his rival, was 
placed in great danger. A brief delay was obtained by 
the urgent representations of Francesco Maria, who, 
throwing aside his accustomed sluggishness, directed 
operations in person. On the sixth day he effected a 
breach by blowing up a bastion, which placed the city at 
its assailants' mercy, and it was again exposed to the 
horrors of a ruthless sack. This success was, however, 


counterbalanced by a revolution in Genoa, the city declar- 
ing itself independent of France, and was followed by the 
fall of Savona, on the 21st of October, It might have 
been saved by more prompt exertions on the Duke's part, 
who was unjustly blamed by his French allies for its loss, 
being, as Paruta assures us, interdicted by the Signory 
from leaving their frontier exposed. 

During the weary wars of Clement VII., the fluctuations 
inherent in human affairs were rarely counterbalanced by 
high principles or commanding genius. Confederacies 
formed upon narrow views and selfish calculations were 
neither sustained with persevering energy, nor directed by 
men of enlarged views and gallant bearing. Indeed, 
courage itself faltered and zeal grew languid, in contests 
which seemed to demoralise officers and soldiery. It can- 
not therefore occasion surprise that all parties were equally 
ready to play fast and loose ; that the great powers kept 
themselves ever open for new combinations ; and that 
independent captains, true to old condottiere usages, 
readily transferred their services to the quarter whence 
most substantial benefits were likely to accrue. Thus, 
after the great discouragement resulting to the cause of 
Francis, from the loss of Lautrec's army and the desertion 
of Doria, his allies began to waver. The Pontiff, though 
scarcely recovered from the alarm in which his recent mis- 
fortunes had left him, displayed an unaccountable leaning 
towards their author ; and even Sforza, having to choose 
between two claimants of his duchy, began to think that 
the best terms might be had from the Emperor. The 
Venetians were as usual waiters upon providence ; but 
they so overplayed the temporising game, that the arrange- 
ments for a double treaty between Clement, Charles, and 
Francis found them still in the field, and they were left to 
make head single-handed against the imperialists. As 
such a contest was necessarily a defensive one, the Duke's 
dilatory manoeuvres were at length well timed, and the 

42 MEMOIRS OF THE ' [1528 

Signory preferred thus prolonging the struggle to restoring 
the territory they had gained during the war, as a pre- 
liminary condition of peace. The Emperor had landed in 
August at Genoa, with a powerful fleet and army, and 
new levies arrived from Germany. St. Pol, after drawing 
off his troops towards Genoa, was surprised and shame- 
fully beaten ere he could be supported by Francesco 
Maria,^ who had encamped at Cassano on the Adda, in a 
position that menaced Milan, and commanded supplies 
from the Bergamese territory, whilst it effectually pro- 
tected the Venetian mainland from imperialist aggression. 
The Duke there resisted every attempt to dislodge him, 
until the senate had arranged the terms of a treaty with 
the Emperor, which was signed on the 23rd of December. 
The ostensible motives of Charles in coming to Italy 
were twofold ; to forward arrangements for a general 
league against the Turks, who, after overrunning Hungary, 
had laid siege to Vienna ; and to have the imperial diadem 
and the iron crown of Lombardy imposed upon his brows 
by the Pope. Bologna was selected for the ceremony, 
whither his Holiness arrived in great state about the end 
of October, followed on the 5th of November by the 
Emperor. The two potentates were lodged in the public 
palace, and addressed themselves to the former of these 
objects with so much success, that on the 23rd of December 
a treaty was concluded, wherein were comprehended all 
the Italian states except Florence. The Lombard question 
was settled, Sforza being left in possession of his duchy, 
but hampered with ruinous payments to the Emperor in 
name of expenses ; whilst the Venetians, besides paying 
heavy sums under the same pretext, had to resign their 
acquisitions about Ravenna and on the Neapolitan coast. 
Florence was not included, in consequence of its de facto 

^ In his Discorsi Militari, pp. 7, 8, the Duke minutely criticises the 
French general's tactics, which exposed him to this shameful reverse ; but the 
details have now little interest. 


government being in the hands of the democratic party, 
who, in 1527, had availed themselves of Clement's diffi- 
culties to expel the Medici ; it was now, however, replaced 
under their sway by the combined arms of the Pontiff and 
the Emperor. After ten months of obstinate defence, — 
the final effort of its old republican spirit, which commands 
our sympathy and respect far more than the struggles of 
faction that used in earlier times to deluge its piazza in 
blood, — the city was surrendered on the 12th of August, 
1530, and its chains were riveted by a base bastard, who 
seems to have had nothing of the Medici but their name. 
In this siege died Philibert Prince of Orange, one of the 
last survivors of the invaders of Rome. Like his comrade 
Bourbon, he was a renegade from the service of Francis I., 
in disgust, as was alleged, at being turned out of his palace 
to make way for the imperious Wolsey, and at the ridicule 
to which this slight exposed him in the French court. 
The title passed to his nephew Rene Count of Nassau, 
who carried it from Provence to Holland, and was grand- 
father of William III. of England. Their leader fallen, 
their occupation gone, a serious alarm spread throughout 
Central Italy, lest the victorious soldiery should re-enact 
the horrors perpetrated by Bourbon's sanguinary host. 
These fears, however, soon subsided ; indeed a century and 
a quarter elapsed ere that fair land was again exposed to 
the devastations of foreign spoilers. 

These diplomatic arrangements being thus satisfactorily 
concluded, preparations advanced rapidly for the coro- 
nation, and many princely feudatories of Italy flocked to 
witness that august function. Among these was Francesco 
Maria, who, though summoned as Prefect of Rome, had 
some cause to misdoubt his welcome from the Pontiff and 
the Emperor. The old family grudge still smouldered in 
the breast of the former, and he was alleged to have lately 
intrigued with Charles that the Prince of Orange, after re- 
establishing the Medici at Florence, should seize upon 

44 MEMOIRS OF THE [1529 

Urbino for Ascanio Colonna, whose vague claims upon 
that duchy have been already explained.^ Indeed, a 
rumour of that general's march upon his states in March, 
1529, had suddenly recalled the Duke from Lombardy, in 
order to provide for their defence. To the Emperor he 
had been uniformly opposed, rather from the chances of 
war than upon any personal quarrel ; yet he did not 
hesitate to repair to the coronation, arriving at Bologna 
about the ist of November, and there met with an 
interesting incident. 

As he approached the city with his suite he was met by 
about fifty German veterans, who addressed him in their 
rough transalpine tongue, and through an interpreter 
explained that they had come to pay to him their 
reverence, having served under his father in long past 
wars, inquiring where their old commander had died. 
They were told that it was himself that led them to 
victory ; but, unaware how early he had commanded 
armies, they demurred to this, saying, that were their old 
leader alive his beard would be blanched. The Duke 
having assured them that their gallantry and attachment 
were well known and appreciated by him, they dismissed 
their doubts, crowding round to kiss his hands or mantle, 
and accompanied him to his lodging, a civility duly 
acknowledged by thanks and a suitable largess. 

Several days having passed in visits of compliment, the 
Emperor arrived, escorted into the town by the Dukes of 
Urbino and Savoy, with their brilliant staffs. Mindful 
only of the renown which the former had acquired in 
recent campaigns, the monarch summoned him to his side, 
and conversed with him in friendly familiarity. He called 
him the first general in Christendom, and complimented 
his officers as worthy soldiers of a famous school, whose 
complexions bore the honourable scars and weather-stains 
of good service. Duchess Leonora became on her arrival 
^ Vol. II., pp. 420, 423. 


equally the object of imperial favour, and received flatter- 
ing testimony to her polished and princely manners. The 
purpose of these marked attentions was soon developed, 
in a proposal to confer upon Francesco Maria the baton, 
as captain-general of the imperial troops in Italy. This 
gratifying offer he gracefully declined, pleading an engage- 
ment to the Venetians, which prevented his listening to 
such proposals without consent of the Signory. To them 
Charles forthwith addressed his request ; but received for 
answer that the same considerations which induced him 
to make it rendered them resolute in retaining the services 
of a leader who for many years had brought renown to 
their arms ; but that, though unable to spare himself, they 
were ready to place him with all their forces at the dis- 
posal of his Highness. The Emperor had employed the 
Duchess of Savoy's intervention in this affair, who at his 
suggestion cultivated a great intimacy with the Duke and 
Duchess of Urbino, and her pleading was on one occasion 
enforced by Charles in person in a well-timed visit. The 
establishment of this lady is described by Leonard!, who 
was particularly struck with the easy elegance and grace- 
ful conversation of her six girlish maids of honour, seated 
on cushions of tawny velvet, and gaily decked in rich 
jewels, plumes, and streaming ribbons, chatting merrily 
with her guests. The Emperor, far from taking umbrage 
at his disappointment, sought Francesco Maria's opinion 
as to the person best fitted for commander-in-chief, who 
recommended the appointment of Antonio della Leyva. 
Indeed, Giraldi declares that Charles "never could have 
enough of his fine discourses or sententious remarks," 
and pressed him to name any favour he would accept of. 
The Duke, thus encouraged, urged the restoration of 
Sora, Arce, Arpino, and Rocca Guglielmi, which had 
been taken from him at the instigation of Leo X., a 
request to which Charles acceded about three years later, 
paying ioo,ooo scudi of compensation to a Flemish 

46 MEMOIRS OF THE [1530 

nobleman who had been invested with these Neapolitan 

On the 22nd of February, in the chapel attached to the 
Palazzo Pubblico, the brows of Charles were encircled 
with the iron crown of Lombardy, which, as Muratori 
observes, had not yet been rendered a sacred relic by the 
legend of its having been formed out of a nail of the true 
cross. Two days after, he received the imperial diadem 
in the church of S. Petronio, the Duke of Urbino, as 
Prefect of Rome, carrying the sword of state, with which 
the Pontiff had just conferred knighthood upon the Em- 
peror. The populace were regaled in the Piazza with two 
bullocks roasted entire, whilst both the great fountains 
poured forth continued streams of wine, and silver largess 
was scattered at all hands. An accident from the fall of 
some scaffolding, which nearly proved fatal to the hero of 
the ceremonial, brought on a sharp altercation between 
the captain of the imperial guard and the chief magistrate 
of the city. To the threats of the officer, to treat the 
place as he had already done the larger town of Milan, 
the latter replied that in Milan they manufactured needles, 
but in Bologna they made swords. On the 22nd of March, 
Charles departed for Germany, in order to defend his 
Austrian dominions from the Turks ; and, nine days later, 
Clement set out in a litter for his capital, where he arrived 
on the 9th of April, after spending the 6th at Urbino, on 
a visit to Francesco Maria. 

From these transactions at Bologna there dated a new 
era for Italy. The long struggle of Guelph and Ghibel- 
line was at length come to an end — the standard of her 
nationality was finally struck. Succeeding pontiffs were 
content to lean for support upon an authority which their 
predecessors had defied or resisted. It mattered little 
whether that paramount influence was held by an Aus- 
trian or Spanish imperial dynasty ; so long as the two 


Sicilies, Sardinia, and Milan owned its dominion, the 
freedom of the other states was merely nominal. The 
Peninsula was, indeed, no longer ravaged by European 
wars, yet the protracted struggle did not close until the 
victor had riveted on her his chains. She was seldom 
desolated by invading armies, but she was not the less 
plundered by licensed spoilers. Peace was restored to 
her, but independence was gone. The Reformation, too, 
which Leo left a petty schism, had in ten years changed 
the faith of a large section of Europe, and Rome was no 
longer the capital of Christendom. The results of this 
change in the Church it is not the province of these pages 
to notice, but, in common with other Italian feudatories, 
the Dukes of Urbino felt the altered aspect of their 
political relations. War was not now a profession de- 
manding their services, and recompensing them with glory 
and profit. The trade of arms had come to an end, as 
regarded the old condottiere system and its frightful 
abuses, and was modified into the more orderly machinery 
of standing armies on a limited scale. We shall accord- 
ingly find these princes for the future little mixed up with 
the general affairs of the Peninsula, and scarcely ever 
taking the field, but left with ample leisure for the ad- 
ministration of their little principality, or the cultivation 
of their individual tastes. Had such been the lot of 
Duke Federigo or his accomplished son, their fame would 
scarcely have been dimmed, for theirs were virtues equally 
calculated to elevate a court or illustrate a camp. But it 
was otherwise with the two remaining sovereigns della 
Rovere ; and the glories of the dynasty would suffer no 
diminution did we now draw our narrative to a close. 
Yet these Dukes were not commonplace men ; and, 
making allowance for the age in which they lived, — when 
the fine gold of literature and arts had been transmuted 
into baser metal, and when genius had fled from a desola- 
tion which peace without freedom was powerless to re- 

48 MEMOIRS OF THE [1530 

animate, — they were not unworthy to rule in the Athens 
of Italy. Those readers, however, who have thus far 
followed our narrative must content themselves through 
its remaining chapters with characters less striking, views 
less general, events of narrowed interest ; and must bear 
in mind that the niche in the temple of Fame appro- 
priated to Urbino, as well as that enshrining the Italian 
name, was earned ere the coronation of Charles V. had 
closed the struggles of Italy, and consummated her sub- 

After that time, according to one of the most rational 
as well as eloquent of the new dreamers after Italian 
nationality, "she underwent a rapid yet imperceptible 
decline ; yet her sky smiled brightly as ever, her climate 
was as mild. A privileged land, removed from all cares of 
political existence, she went on with dances and music, 
happy in her ignorance, sleeping in the intoxication of 
incessant prosperity. Used to the scourge of invasion, the 
sons of the south took up again their guitars, wiped away 
their tears, and sang anew like a cloud of birds when the 
tempest is over."^ This picture, drawn in bitterness, but 
not apparently in irony, paints the decline of Italy in 
colours more attractive than any we should have dared to 
employ ; and we extract it chiefly for the sake of contrast 
with the same writer's ready admission that the liberty of 
the old republics was cradled amid convulsions of faction, 
which eventually exhausted their forces, or stifled their 

If the object of government be the greatest happiness 
of the masses, it seems, according to Mariotti, to have 
been more fully attained in Italy during the ages of 
foreign sway than in those of republican strife. Admitting 
in some degree, this conclusion, we accord a more hearty 
approval to the character he has elsewhere given of a state 
of matters worse, probably, in that land than either of 
^ Mariotti's Italy, II. 


these alternatives, — " that slow and silent disease, that 
atrabilious frenzy — politics — which pervades all ranks, 
exhibiting a striking contrast with the radiant and har- 
monious gaiety of heaven and earth." 

Our notices of the court of Urbino have been suspended 
during a long interval from lack of materials. Indeed, 
the military duties of its head too well accounts for this 
deficiency of incident, rendering his domestic life a blank. 
Even the brief intervals when he could steal from the 
camp to the society of his Duchess, were passed in some 
neighbouring town, where she met him, or at Venice, 
where she made a lengthened sojourn, partly as a safer 
residence during the alarm consequent upon Bourbon's 
invasion, but in some degree as a guarantee for her hus- 
band to the suspicious government he served. These 
circumstances occasioned him prolonged absences from his 
state, of which his consort availed herself to prepare for 
him an agreeable surprise. 

Immediately north-west from Pesaro rises the fertile 
slope of Monte Bartolo, near the summit of which, but 
sheltered from the keen sea-breeze, Alessandro Sforza 
fixed the site of a villa called Casartole. The Emperor 
Frederick III., when returning from his coronation at 
Rome, in January, 1469, was magnificently entertained 
by that Prince, and here laid the foundation of a casino, 
which in compliment to him was named the Imperiale. 
Its dimensions were, however, unequal to that imposing 
name, for, on the death of Giovanni Sforza, in 15 10, it was 
valued at only 8000 ducats. Having devolved upon the 
Duke of Urbino, with the lordship of Pesaro, it was 
selected by the Duchess for a compliment to him, which 
may be best explained by the inscription she placed 
upon the building : — " For Francesco Maria, Duke of the 
Metaurian States, on his return from the wars, his consort 
Leonora has erected this villa, in token of affection, and in 

III.— E 

50 MEMOIRS OF THE [153° 

compensation for sun and dust, for watching and toil, so 
that, during an interval of repose, his military genius may 
here prepare for him still wider renown and richer rewards." 
To carry out this idea worthily, she summoned Girolamo 
Genga, of Urbino, one of the best architects of his time ; 
and under his able superintendence the casino of the 
Sforza, distinguished from moderate country houses only 
by heraldic devices and a lofty bell-tower, was rapidly 
transformed into a handsome palace, which the pencil of 
Raffaele Colle was employed to decorate with its master's 

The site of this villa was admirably adapted as a 
residence for the sovereign of those broad lands it over- 
looked. It commanded every dwelling in the little city of 
Pesaro, though perfectly secluded from contact with its 
busy streets. The vale of the Isauro or Foglia lay in 
verdure before it, beyond which were the gardenlike slopes 
of Novilara, terminating in a varied landscape of hill and 
dale, which carried the gazer to the blue mountains of 
Gubbio. To the left spread the coast of Fano and 
Sinigaglia ; to the right the high lands of Urbino were 
bounded by the Apennines of Carpegna and the isolated 
heights of San Marino. In a word, the Imperiale scanned 
the whole duchy of Urbino, of which it might, not inaptly, 
be considered the eye. The attractions of this princely 
retreat have been described with enthusiasm by Ludovico 
Agostini, who enjoyed them in their prime, and whose 
eulogies remain unedited in the Oliveriana Library. But 
they owe to the pen of Bernardo Tasso a worthier and 
wider celebrity, in his letter to Vincenzo Laureo, which 
sums up the advantages of the Villa by declaring that no 
place in Italy united with a temperate and healthful climate 
so many conveniences and enjoyable spots. 

Of many laboured and costly productions of human 
ingenuity little remains there but saddening ruins. 

The lofty oaks celebrated by Agostini have yielded to 


the axe ; the grove which served as a game preserve has 
shared the same fate ; the once innumerable pines and 
cypresses may be counted in units ; the orange and lemon 
trees, the cystuses and myrtles have disappeared. Though 
even yet of imposing appearance, the building has under- 
gone pitiable dilapidations. Almost every morsel of the 
marble carving has been carried off, and fragments may 
be purchased from the pawnbrokers of Pesaro. The 
frescoes, except that representing Francesco Maria receiv- 
ing the adherence of his army, which seems the poorest in 
execution, are almost totally defaced. But that the 
saloons, where Bembo talked and Tasso sang, have been 
found well adapted for the culture of silkworms, the 
desolation, begun a century ago by Portuguese Jesuits, 
continued by a rabble soldiery, and permitted by its 
present proprietors the Albani, might ere now have been 

But while the works of man have thus by man been 
degraded, glorious nature remains unchanged. A few 
hundred paces lead to the summit ridge of Monte Bartolo, 
a spot rarely equalled even in this lovely land. To the 
vast prospect we have but now feebly described, there is 
here added a marine panorama, extending from the head- 
land of Ancona to the Pineta of Ravenna, and including 
a boundless expanse of the sparkling Adriatic. A 
wanderer on that attractive coast, it has been my privilege 
to visit this unrivalled spot, and listlessly to survey the 
swan-like sails skimming the mighty mirror, wherein was 
reflected the deep indigo of an Italian sky, bounded along 
the horizon by that pearly haze gradually dissolving to- 
wards the blue zenith, which no painter but Perugino has 
been able to embody. 

Of Duchess Leonora we know little.*^ Unlike her pre- 
decessor, she had no courtly pen to transmit us her praises, 

*^ Cf. Luzio E Renier, Mantova e Urbino (Torino, 1893) ^^d Julia 
Cartwright, Isabella d'Esie (Murray, 1904). 

52 MEMOIRS OF THE [1530 

no Bembo or Castiglione to celebrate the beauties of her 
person or the graces of her mind. She enjoys, however, 
one advantage over her Aunt Elisabetta ; for in a speak- 
ing portrait by Titian, we may read much of her character, 
exempt from the vague flattery of such diffuse eulogists. 
Painted at that trying age when female beauty has ex- 
changed its maiden charms for mature womanhood, the 
grave matronly air, the stiff contours and set features, 
with more of comely dignity than sternness in their 
general expression, attest fidelity in the likeness, and tally 
well with what we know of her temperament, and with 
the trials under which it must have been formed. There 
we may observe a composure calculated to moderate the 
fiery temper of her lord, a self-possession fitted to sustain 
him through his varied adversities. Her dress handsome 
rather than rich, her pose indicative of quietude, the 
spaniel watching by her side, the small time-piece on her 
table, are accessories adapted for one accustomed to pass 
the long intervals of her husband's absence rather in re- 
flective solitude than in courtly pastimes.^ To such a 
disposition the cares of maternity and her children's 
education afforded an ever pleasing resource, which she 
shared with the Dowager Duchess, an unfailing com- 
panion and friend, whose once lively spirits had been 
chastened by affliction into harmony with her tempera- 
ment ; but of this solace she was deprived by her death 
at Venice in January, 1526. In the autumn of 1529, 
Leonora, who administered the duchy in her husband's 
absence, received Clement at Pesaro, on his way to the 
coronation at Bologna, with a princely welcome and 
magnificent presents. In a letter which his Holiness took 
that opportunity to address to the Duke, he expresses 
gratitude for these, and for the attendance of the prince, 
" a youth of the highest hopes from his excellent disposi- 

1 Cf. Appendix XII. 


tions, his modesty, and his natural inclination to literature, 
as well as his many estimable qualities." Whilst promis- 
ing much favour to Guidobaldo, he compliments his father 
on the mild and equitable sway whereby the Duchess main- 
tained his state in peace and tranquillity, and concludes 
with an apostolic blessing on him, his consort, and his son. 
Returned to his state after so long a separation, Francesco 
Maria found, during the next two years, ample leisure to 
attend to its internal administration, and to watch the 
progress of his promising family. The eldest of these 
seems to have been Donna Ippolita, for whom he soon re- 
ceived, through the Marquis del Vasto, an offer of marriage 
from Don Antonio d' Aragona, son of the Duke of Mon- 
talto. At the nuptials, which were celebrated with suit- 
able splendour, he had a very unlooked-for guest in 
Ascanio Colonna, whose intrigues to supplant him in the 
duchy we have lately noticed, but who, finding these hope- 
lessly foiled by the Duke's establishment in the good 
graces of the Emperor, sought a reconciliation through 
the bridegroom, his cousin, whom he accompanied to 
Urbino. This frankness was met in a kindred spirit by 
his host, and their amity was cemented by a generous 

It was now, perhaps, that Francesco Maria took oppor- 
tunity to dictate the results of his long experience of war, 
in a series of Military Discourses, which were published 
fifty years later, but which, being evidently printed from 
loose and unrevised notes, are not fairly amenable to literary 
criticism.^ They are but desultory and disjointed obser- 

^ Discorsi Militari dell' eccellentissimo Signor Francesco Maria I. della 
Rovere, Duca di Urbino, nei quali si discorrano molti avantaggi et dis- 
advantaggi della guerra, utilissimi ad ogni soldato. Ferrara, 1583. It was 
edited by Domenico Mammarelli, and dedicated to Signor Ippolito Ben- 
tivoglio. There is a transcript in the library at Newbattle Abbey, a. 3, 2, and 
a fragment of it in the Vat. Ottobon. MSS. No. 2447, f. 135. * Cf. also / 
discorsi di F. M. I. della Rovere sopra le fortificazioiii di Venezia (Mantova, 
1902). These were written 1537-38. 

54 MEMOIRS OF THE [1530 

vations, carelessly jotted down, with little attention to 
order or style, and edited without emendation, or even 
intelligible punctuation. The matter abounds in truisms 
and common-places, displaying neither enlarged views nor 
knowledge of mankind : the style is garrulous, diffuse, and 
redundant. Yet, as on matters of military skill the Duke 
was considered a high authority, it may not be improper 
here to record some of his opinions. 

This was his idea of a fortified town : " It ought to 
stand in a plain, its citadel commanded by no eminence. 
The rampart-wall should be three paces wide at base, 
supporting an earthern rampart of fifteen or twenty paces 
wide, with barbicans. This retaining wall should be in height 
about twenty feet, and have above it a curtain of nearly 
as many. The upper part, being most exposed to be bat- 
tered, had better have an earthen facing. There ought to 
be a platform, rising sixteen feet over the curtain, placed 
half-way between each baloard and bastion. The baloards 
should have guns mounted only at the sides, and be of 
massive strength, from fifty to sixty paces in diameter, 
that the guns may be freely wrought. Should a baloard 
be taken, it will still be flanked by the adjoining platforms, a 
ditch drawn between each of which would in a night's time 
recomplete the defences. The fosse should be about twenty 
paces wide, and is best without water, so as to allow arti- 
ficial fire to be showered down upon the enemy. There 
ought to be no counterscarp, seeing it generally serves as a 
protection to the besiegers ; but, if there be one, it had 
better be only of earth, at a low angle of elevation. Above 
all, there ought to be provided many secret ports for fre- 
quent sallies, and for the easy return of the men." " It 
has been long noticed that no fortress was ever carried but 
by some oversight of its defenders, and everything depends 
upon a judicious selection of positions for defence. Un- 
questionably a single sin suffices to send a man to the 
devil, whatever be his other good works ; and, in like 


manner, one oversight in fortification may lose the place, 
as happened when I took Pavia and Cremona. In short, 
it is all very well to play with plans and models, but one 
must see to everything on the spot." 

" He said, in reference to the fortresses of Legnano and 
Verona, that it was very ill-judged in the Republic never 
to carry things out as they had been planned, in conse- 
quence of frequent ministerial changes, and the system of 
governing from day to day, and bit by bit, without refer- 
ence to any general design. By adopting an opposite 
method, he had completed the defences of Pesaro much 
more efficiently, and at a third of the outlay it would have 
cost any one else, simply because he was the sole head 
and executor, and kept in view the entire works, not the 
individual gates, baloards, and details ; and by so com- 
pleting them that it must be attacked on two or three 
sides, whilst provided with ten or twelve concealed sally- 
ports." He contended that a fortress on a hill was diffi- 
cult to defend, one on a plain less so ; but that the easiest 
and most secure was one whose defences partly extended 
along the level, and in part rose upon steep ground, such 
as Verona, which he maintained could be more easily 
held by five thousand men against eighty thousand, than 
most towns by eight thousand against half that besieg- 
ing force. 

In conducting a siege, the Duke dwells upon the neces- 
sity of a choice infantry, in which German solidity should 
be happily combined with the active troops of Italy and 
Spain ; yet he admits that men-at-arms, when dis- 
mounted, can be turned to excellent account in an assault, 
and that light cavalry are of obvious value. " Above all," 
he says, "you require a well-supplied commissariat, and 
regular pay, with sufficient artillery and military machines. 
After choosing the most eligible spot for encampment, 
just without range of the enemy's guns, the first thing is 
to provide your baggage and supplies against sudden 

56 MEMOIRS OF THE [i53o 

surprise ; next to open trenches for your artillery, secur- 
ing your men by a ditch wide enough for their operations, 
but not so broad as to be commanded from the walls, and 
taking care not to let too many of them at once into the 
trenches, so as to embarrass each other. It is an immense 
protection to flank your trenches with lines drawn from 
your principal encampment close up to the city walls, 
which must be strongly defended against the enemy's 
guns, and must contain a force adequate to check their 
sallies, and, if necessary, to cover the trenches, or even 
succour your camp." 

" Should you resort to a blockade, it is best to establish 
your army in one or two towns ten to fifteen miles off, 
taking care to secure every intervening place. At that 
distance your own supplies are more easily procured, and 
your light cavalry can readily intercept the enemy's con- 
voys, whilst the garrison cannot attack you, except at 
every disadvantage, and without artillery." 

As for artillery, we find a recommendation of batter- 
ing guns carrying from thirty to one hundred pound 
balls, and of field-pieces and ship's cannon from fifteen 
to twenty pounds. The gunpowder in Italy being bad, 
fifty was the average of daily discharges ; but the Turks, 
having very superior powder, could fire as many as 
seventy times, which was looked upon as a stupendous 

Animadverting upon those tardy tactics which never 
anticipated a movement of the enemy, the Duke com- 
pared them to a child applying its hand to the parts suc- 
cessively chastised, without attempting to ward off the 
next blow ; yet, Fabius-like, he considered that a general's 
talent was more shown in his selection of suitable posts 
than in the conduct of a pitched battle. Popular risings 
he held very cheap, believing them utterly contemptible 
when not supported by disciplined troops, and instancing 
his own experience at Florence in 1527, when, with eighty 


soldiers, he put down an insurrection, and maintained the 
ascendancy of the Medici. 

With reference to the respective merits of various 
nations whom he had seen in the field, he said that 
" a good Italian and a good Spanish soldier are equal. 
The Swiss at the outset are an excellent force ; but, in a 
protracted campaign, they deteriorate, and become good 
for little. The Germans sustain an onset of men-at-arms 
most valiantly, and, during these Italian wars, have become 
in other respects expert, especially at skirmishes, either in 
cover or in the open country. The Turks, being unskilled 
in war, have hitherto owed their victories rather to the 
deficiencies of their opponents than to their own superiority. 
He ascribed the success of French armies against the 
Italians to an absurd practice of the latter, who always 
fought in squadrons of twenty-five men-at-arms, each 
squadron engaging another, so that the battle was made 
up of many separate skirmishes ; and, in the end, the most 
numerous army generally carried the day. Charles VIII., 
on the contrary, formed in three battalions, — the van, 
centre, and rear, — and, with his force thus concentrated, 
bore down the detached tactics of his opponents. Yet 
the Duke did not consider this French disposition as 
invariably efficacious, preferring in many cases that an 
army should act in one body, even at the risk of leaving 
its baggage and artillery in the rear, and comparatively 
unprotected. But, on this and similar points, his maxim 
was not to adhere to any invariable rule." 

Regarding the construction of an army, we find this 
passage : — " In preparing an expedition, the commander 
ought to imitate the process by which nature creates a 
living body, forming first the heart ; then the vital mem- 
bers, such as the liver, lungs, blood, and brains ; next the 
skin ; and, finally the hair and nails. In like manner, the 
foundation of an enterprise should be the general, who is 
its heart, and in whom should be united varied capacity, 

58 MEMOIRS OF THE [153° 

with perfect rectitude and justice. Then his officers should 
be strenuous, experienced, and impHcitly obedient, for 
such captains are certain to recruit soldiers of the same 
stamp. Next, let him look to his commissariat and military 
chest, and see that his arms and accoutrements are adapted 
to his enemy and the country. Lastly, let him regard all 
extraneous and casual aid as mere skin, hair, and nails, 
relying mainly on his own well-disciplined troops." The 
Duke considered that " men-at-arms are by no means so 
useless as they are sometimes regarded, and that, although 
infantry is the basis of an army, nevertheless it would not 
do to have only that force in the field ; just as, although 
in the human body it is the eye alone which sees, the 
hand which works, the head which guides, yet man would 
not be so perfect or beautiful a creature with but eyes, 
hands, or head, as he is with all these various members. 
Hence he would wish to have soldiers of all sorts in his 
camp, — men-at-arms, light cavalry, a German brigade, 
and a full complement of Italians." 

But whilst the theory of warfare thus occupied his 
thoughts, he was not neglectful of its munitions ; and it 
was his special concern to provide for his veterans, horses, 
arms, and accoutrements of a quality which gained them 
general admiration. After nearly three years of peace 
the Venetians, fearing that their swords might become 
rusty, ordered a muster of their forces on the mainland, 
and an inspection of their frontier defences. The reviews 
were conducted by their Captain-general in person, who 
spent several months of 1532 in Lombardy with the 
Duchess, leaving the government of his state in the hands 
of his son Guidobaldo, now eighteen years of age. From 
thence he was called to Friuli, on the approach of a dis- 
organised mass of Italian soldiery, who were returning 
home from the Turkish war, burning and plundering as 
they went. By firm and temperate measures he kept 
them in check, and constrained them to resume an orderly 


march. The only immediate result to the Peninsula from 
campaigns in Hungary was an alarm along the Adriatic 
coast of a Turkish descent, which was made a pretext by 
Clement for seizing upon Ancona, and annexing that 
republic to the papal states. 


Italian militia — The Camerino disputes — Death of Clement VII. — Marriage 
of Prince Guidobaldo — Proposed Turkish crusade under the Duke — His 
death and character. 

THREE nearly contemporaty events had lately 
combined to extinguish the nationality of Italy, 
and those liberties which, shared in ample or 
more sparing measure by her many states, had 
till now crowned her military glories with intellectual 
renown. In the sack of Rome the power of the Keys had 
been shaken, the prestige of the papal city had passed 
away. The defence of Florence was the last effort of 
patriotism, and with it fell communal independence. The 
coronation of Charles V. laid upon the Peninsula an iron 
yoke of foreign despotism, which rendered her virtually a 
province of Spain. A necessary consequence of this sad 
change will be to limit the field of our investigation, and 
to restrict what remains of our work to the ducal family 
and their hereditary domains, which for the future were 
little more than an appanage of the Spanish monarchy. 
The Lords of Urbino had hitherto been prominent among 
the captains of adventure, and bore a part wherever en- 
gagements were offered, or hard blows to be had. But the 
condottiere system being now superseded, a new mode 
of warfare and machinery of defence became indispensable. 
Knight-service and the romance of war were swept away 
by artillery ; the imposing battaglia of men-at-arms proved 
powerless when confronted by battalions of steady infantry, 
or out-mancEuvred by the dashing cavalry of Dalmatia. 



This lesson, first taught by the Swiss in their fastnesses, 
had been practically demonstrated to the Italians in every 
great action from the Taro to the recent Lombard cam- 
paigns, and had been adopted by most of their leaders. 
It now, however, became necessary to apply it in another 
sense, and, seeing that captains were no longer to be 
hired with their respective followings of efficient soldiery, 
to organise a militia of its own for the defence of such 
state, upon principles which Machiavelli was among the 
first to recognise and explain. 

Before that system came into general use, the Italian 
infantry was notoriously incompetent to cope with trans- 
alpine levies, as Francesco Maria had bitterly experienced 
in the war of 1523-27. He therefore, in 1533, instituted 
a militia of his mountaineers, under the name of the 
Feltrian legion, which before his death numbered five 
thousand men, in four regiments, commanded by as many 
colonels. The object was to make them good soldiers 
without ceasing to be citizens ; to maintain in readiness at 
small expense a military population, who were not men 
of war by profession. For this purpose lists were annually 
taken of all males from eighteen to twenty-five, learned 
professions and infamous persons being exempted, and to 
them arms were given. They were drilled and instructed 
in the necessary evolutions, and a proportion of them 
were called into active service when needed. On these oc- 
casions they were well paid ; but, when kept on the reserve, 
their small stipend was rendered more attractive by a 
variety of political immunities and fiscal exemptions, 
including the exclusive privilege of bearing arms. The 
practical result was this, — the able-bodied population were, 
on the one hand, brought into a sort of direct dependence 
on the executive, and, on the other, were taught that the 
safety of the commonwealth was entrusted to their swords 
and sinews. It is scarcely necessary to add that this 
system has been generally adopted, and that on it are 

62 MEMOIRS OF THE [1532-3 

still based the military institiitions of most continental 

In December, 1532, the Emperor returned to Italy, and 
was met near Vicenza by Francesco Maria, who welcomed 
him in his own name, and in that of the Signory. Dis- 
pensing with complimentary formalities, Charles received 
him at once to easy intercourse, and, requesting his 
continued attendance, spent much time in conversing with 
him on the art of war. At Bologna another congress was 
held by the Pontiff and the Emperor, in which were 
discussed the affairs of Italy, the proposed general council, 
and the matrimonial speculations of Clement for advance- 
ment of his house. The marriage of Alessandro de' 
Medici, now created Duke of Florence, was arranged with 
Margaret of Austria, natural daughter of Charles ; but the 
hand of Caterina de' Medici, which the latter wished to be 
given to Francesco Sforza, was reserved by her ambitious 
uncle for a French prince. Charles left Bologna on the 
28th of February, 1533, and embarked at Genoa for 
Spain, after giving some hope to Francesco Maria of a 
satisfactory settlement of his claims upon Sora. Clement 
in ten days after set out for Rome. The estrangement 
between these potentates, which at this meeting began to 
chill their intercourse, was greatly widened by the voyage 
of his Holiness in the following autumn to Marseilles, 
where he celebrated the nuptials of Caterina with Henry, 
second son and successor of Francis I. At this second 
congress of Bologna, Titian met the Emperor by special 
command ; and it was perhaps on that occasion that he 
had commissions for portraits of the Duke and Duchess 
of Urbino, v/hich now ornament the Uffizi gallery. The 
former is engraved as a frontispiece for this volume ; 
of the latter we have lately spoken : both will demand 
further notice in our fifty-fourth chapter, and in the last 
No. of the Appendix. 


In April the Duchess Leonora gave birth to a son at 
Mantua, who was named after JuHus II., and was destined 
to holy orders. His father had at the same time a severe 
fit of gout ; and, on his return home, the painful duty- 
devolved upon him of providing against the visitation of a 
scarcity which then lamentably affected Italy. The close 
of the year found him a suitor with the Pope in the affair 
of Camerino, which w^e shall now briefly explain. 

The small state of that name in the March of Ancona 
had been ruled for nearly three hundred years by the 
Varana family, some of whom we have occasionally men- 
tioned in these Memoirs. Exaggerating the domestic 
atrocities, then too frequent among Italians of their rank, 
they became revoltingly notorious, in 1433-4, for a com- 
plicated fratricide. Bernardo, Lord of Camerino, jealous 
of his brothers Giovanni and Pier-Gentile, the oftspring of 
his father's second marriage, had them put to death by the 
agency of his own sons. Ere many months passed, his 
subjects, loathing the foul deed, suddenly rose against its 
authors. With sweeping vengeance they slew him, his 
brother german Gentil Pandolfo, and his six sons, dashing 
the heads of the little ones against the wall. The succes- 
sion was thus opened to Giulio Cesare, son of Giovanni, 
who, in 145 1, married the only daughter of Sigismondo 
Pandolfo, despot of Rimini.* ^ He lived to see the usur- 
pations of Cesare Borgia, and, falling into the hands of 
Michelotto on the capture of La Pergola, the old man 
perished by the bowstring of that monster in 1502, along 
with his eldest son Venanzio, and two natural children. 
Venanzio had, in 1497, married Maria, the only sister of 
Duke Francesco Maria, of whom we have already had to 
tell a tale of scandal, and left one son Sigismondo. He 
was born in 1499, and escaped the fate of his father and 
uncles, from having been sent in infancy to Urbino. 
There he was educated ; and we have seen him defending 
*i Cf. Edward Huttox, Sigismondo Malatesia (1906), p. 61. 


S. Leo, when scarcely beyond boyhood. After years of 
imprisonment and exile, his uncle Francesco Maria made 
an ineffectual attempt, on the death of Leo X., to vindicate 
his hereditary fief, from the usurpation of his paternal 
uncle, Giovanni Maria, its de facto lord, Sigismondo 
sought consolation for his hard fortunes in low debauchery, 
until he fell in 1522 by the hand of assassins, at the sup- 
posed instigation of his usurping uncle, who, in 1527, had 
absolution of the foul deed, and to whose career we must 
now turn.^ 

Giovanni Maria, second son of Giulio Cesare Count of 
Camerino, was sent to Venice on Borgia's approach, and 
so avoided the fate of his family. On the death of 
Alexander VL, being then in his twenty-second year, he 
made a descent upon La Marca, and possessed himself of 
his father's seigneury, in defiance of his infant nephew's 
title to it. His authority was recognised by the Holy 
See, at a time when the hereditary principle was loose, and 
a strong hand constituted the best claim. He found a 
warm supporter in Leo X., through sympathy of their 
common hatred for the della Rovere race, and received 
from him the lordship of Sinigaglia and prefecture of 
Rome, on the deprivation of Francesco Maria, along with 
the additional dignity of Duke of Camerino. After the 
death of Leo, Sigismondo for a few months made good 
his authority at Camerino, until supplanted by the 
usurper, whose title was conveniently completed by his 
nephew's murder ; whereupon he became de jure its 
sovereign, and continued in undisturbed possession of 
his ill-gotten honours. 

On the death of Duke Giovanni Maria, in August 1527, 
the male heir of the fief was Ercole Varana, whose eldest 
son, Matteo, had been destined by the Duke's will to 
become husband of his infant daughter Giulia, then but 

^ Many details regarding these transactions have been given, vol. I., 
p. 411 ; vol. II., pp. 36, 317, 371, 419. 


four years old. This arrangement was, however, reso- 
lutely opposed by his widow, Caterina Cibo,*^ niece of 
Leo X. ; and ere any steps could be taken to carry it into 
effect, the town was sacked by Sciarra Colonna, who, with 
his son-in-law, Rodolfa Varana, a bastard of its last lord, 
drove Caterina and her child into the citadel. Forgetting 
the double feud of Francesco Maria with her husband and 
her Medicean relations, she in her extremity besought his 
aid, offering to plight her daughter's hand to his son, 
Prince Guidobaldo. The proposal found him ingloriously 
inactive in Umbria, during the negotiations for release of 
Clement from S. Angelo, and, readily accepting it, he sent 
troops to relieve the suppliant lady, who continued for 
several years to administer the state in name of Giulia, 
with the passive countenance of her cousin the Pontiff. 
But the jealousy which rankled in the breast of his Holi- 
ness against the della Rovere princes, fretted at an 
arrangement so conducive to their aggrandisement, and 
at the first congress of Bologna he sought to break it off. 
The Duke's answer, as reported by Leonardi, was, that he 
would risk life and state rather than withdraw from the 
engagement, and that, if driven to defensive measures, 
the Pope should in the end bear the expenses of the war. 
With the recent and costly failure of Leo against Urbino 
in their recollection, the consistory would lend no sanction 
to the inclinations of their head, and so the matter rested 
until the return of Clement from France. Francesco 
Maria then formally applied for the papal sanction to 
a union of his son with the heiress of Camerino, but was 
put off on account of her tender age. 

Meanwhile there occurred an incident characteristic of 
these lawless times. Like the other Italian common- 
wealths, Camerino had its exiles, expelled by faction or 
political convulsions, and Matteo, having rallied a body of 

*^ Cf. Feliciangeli, Notizie e documenti sulla vita di Caterina Cibb 
Farawo (Camerino, 1S91). 

III. — F 

66 MEMOIRS OF THE [i534 

these, surprised the city on the 13th of October, 1534, and 
seized the Duchess-Regent in her palace. His object 
being the abduction of Giulia, who had escaped into the 
fortress, he hurried her mother, in her dressing-gown, to its 
gates, and commanded her to summon the castellan to 
surrender. She, however, with extraordinary hardihood 
and self-possession, ordered him to fire upon the assailants ; 
whereupon their leader drew his sword and threatened her 
with instant death. The heroic dame, after ejaculating a 
brief prayer, bared her neck and told him to strike ; 
but Matteo, quailing before her daring spirit, and appre- 
hensive of the infuriated populace, hastily withdrew, 
carrying her prisoner. He was speedily attacked by the 
citizens en massCy and the officer in charge of Caterina was 
glad to secure his own pardon by restoring her to liberty. 
A new inducement thus arose for placing the heiress in the 
hands of one competent to protect her ; yet the redoubled 
instances made with the P®pe for completion of her 
marriage were met by continued temporising, until the 
opportunity passed from his grasp. 

On or about the 25th of September, 1534, Clement 
closed his life. Guicciardini, his countryman and protege, 
tells us that he died hated by his court and suspected by 
princes, leaving a reputation rather odious than pleasing, 
and accounted severe, greedy, faithless, and illiberal. 
Muratori reviews his character more at length : — " He was 
a pontiff not destitute of political capacity ; circumspect 
and dignified ; dexterous in business, including dissimu- 
lation of every sort, and regarded by all his contemporaries 
as a man of double-dealing. Nature and experience had 
amply endowed him with many qualities befitting a tem- 
poral sovereign ; but it would be less easy to detect in him 
those virtues becoming the Vicar of Christ, or to discover, 
amid the religious tempests of his times, what benefits he 
conferred upon the Church, what abuses or disorders he 
checked, though from him took its origin and pretext that 


terrible schism which yet dissevers so many nations from 
the true Church. He misapplied the papacy, its powers 
and resources, to instigate and maintain wars, which, 
besides many other mischiefs, brought upon Rome a 
dreadful sack, and upon his own dignity a shocking de- 
gradation. Still more did he turn these to despoil his 
native Florence of her freedom, and to aggrandise his own 
family rather by princely marriages than by honourable 
and discreet advancement. He died detested by the 
court for his avarice and close-fistedness, and still more 
loathed by the Roman people, who imputed to his policy 
all the miseries that befell their far-famed city." His 
versatile conduct has been fully exposed in these pages : 

" With every wind that veered, 
With shifted sails a several course he steered." 

Finally, with him there originated national funded debt, 
that system which has so extensively affected the political, 
military, financial, commercial and monetary relations of 
the whole civilised world. Yet, though the results of his 
disastrous pontificate justified as they dictated these very 
sweeping charges, the testimony of the Venetian ambassa- 
dors, who describe the earlier portion of his reign, is much 
more favourable, at least to his motives. Whilst they 
represent him as timidly slow in adopting his measures, 
and as wavering and undecided in following them out, 
they commend his piety, his willingness to promote reforms, 
his conscientious observance of justice, the regularity of 
his habits, and the simplicity of his tastes. Possessing 
neither the liberality nor the epicurean propensities of his 
uncle, the contrast was unfavourable to his popularity ; 
and those who had shared with Leo the pastimes of music 
and the chase sneered at discussions on engineering and 
hydraulics, which occupied the leisure of Clement. 

As soon as the Pontiff's death was known to Francesco 
Maria, he sent his son to complete his nuptials at Camer- 


ino ; but, within two hours after his arrival there, a courier 
brought from the Sacred College a protest against the 
marriage of the heiress during the vacancy of the Holy 
See.^ This impediment was suggested by Cardinal 
Farnese in anticipation of his election, which took place 
as Paul HI. on the 12th of October, the very day on which 
the bridal ceremony was completed. To balance this act 
of questionable fidelity to the See, the Duke, by well-timed 
movements, repressed attempts to assert the independence 
of Perugia and Rimini, and re-establish their hereditary 
seigneurs. But such zeal served him little with the new 
Pontiff, who at once made the Camerino succession a 
personal question, with a view to confer that state upon 
his own natural son. One of his earliest acts was accord- 
ingly to visit the contumacy of Caterina, her daughter, and 
son-in-law, with a stern monitory and summons to Rome, 
their disobedience of which was followed by excommunica- 
tion, and by a movement of the pontifical troops to 
blockade Camerino. 

Francesco Maria now interposed all his influence, backed 
by the imperial and the Venetian ambassadors, to induce 
Paul to a recognition of Giulia as heiress under the 
investiture given to her father, with remainder apparently 
to heirs general. Having vainly exhausted the expedients 
of diplomacy in this cause, he protested that the blame 
should not rest upon him of hostilities rendered necessary 
in his son's defence, and, sending provisions to Camerino, 
he marched at the head of ten thousand men to his 
support. At Sassoferrata he was met by a deputation of 
the citizens, laden with presents, who declared that though 
their walls were the Pope's, their hearts and substance were 
at his disposal. At Matelica he found his son and the 
ladies, before whom he passed his army in review, and 
marched home again without once encountering the papal 

^ Cuparini's account of the war of Camerino, Vat. Urb. MSS. 1023, art. 
10. Leoni says the despatch arrived after the nuptials had been solemnised. 



troops under Gian Battista Savello. In fact, it was a war 
of the pen rather than the sword, for at every step he 
renewed notorial protests of duty and obedience to the 
Church, and regularly paid the excise, as well as the price 
of all the stores which he took up for the use of the Varana 
party. Apprehending that, if too far provoked, he would 
be supported by the Venetian arms and by the Emperor, 
the Pontiff now suspended martial measures, and pressed 
the point of law on the Roman courts. 

Thus relieved from immediate anxiety in this matter, 
the Duke of Urbino resolved to pay a visit of com- 
pliment to Charles V. at Naples. After reaching the 
Adriatic frontier of that kingdom, he dismissed the strong 
escort which had guarded him through the ecclesiastical 
state, and proceeded with a small suite. The Emperor 
received him with much courtesy, and sought his counsel 
in the invasion of Provence, which he was preparing. 
Francesco Maria would gladly have referred the Camerino 
affair to his arbitration, but this being rejected by the 
Nuncio, he obtained simply the imperial mediation, which 
proved unavailing. He on this occasion presented Charles 
with two swords of tried temper, and a finger-ring con- 
taining a repeating watch, the latter made at Pesaro. In 
returning he took the route by Benevento to the Adriatic, 
and halting for the night at the convent of Sta. Maria 
degl' Fremiti, near Troia, he allowed some of his atten- 
dants to examine into a curious tradition which then 
obtained general credit. It was said that Diomed arriving 
here with a company of attendants, he and most of them 
died within a few days, and were duly interred ; but that 
their souls were transmigrated into a species of bird else- 
where unknown, which ever since had haunted the marshy 
grounds. These were seen but rarely of an evening, and 
towards morning uttered sounds like human lamentations. 
They flew on the approach of any one not of Greek 
birth, but allowed persons of that nation to visit their 

70 MEMOIRS OF THE [iS37-8 

haunts familiarly. Three of the Duke's suite having 
volunteered to watch, they all heard mournful voices 
about three hours before dawn, a phenomenon which the 
narrator makes no attempt to explain.^ Having crossed 
to survey the Venetian possessions at Zara, the Duke 
returned home in 1536, on board two galleys of the Re- 
public. The rest of that year was chiefly spent by him 
at his post in Lombardy, protecting the Venetian main- 
land during the passage of some imperial levies ; but his 
charge was no longer an important one, as the long 
contests for Milan had been finally set at rest in the 
autumn of 1535, by the death of Duke Francesco Sforza, 
after naming Charles V. heir of his state. 

Apulia and the Venetian possessions in the Levant 
being menaced in the following year by Sultan Solyman, 
a general confederation was effected for the defence of 
Italy and its dependencies, at the head of which were 
the Pope and the Emperor. The Duke of Urbino as 
captain-general undertook to raise five thousand men for 
this armament, but, the danger suddenly passing away, 
distracted counsels prevailed among the allies. Finally, 
on the 31st of January, 1538, a new league was patched 
up, to carry into effect a suggestion of Francesco Maria, 
by diverting the war into the Infidel's territory. Con- 
sidering, however, his impending difficulties with Paul III., 
the Duke obtained a joint guarantee of the contracting 
powers for maintenance in his state, in confirmation of 
papal brieves to the same effect dated in the preceding 
November. About the same time his services to the 
Republic were acknowledged by the present of a palace 
in the street of Sta. Fosca, valued at 16,000 ducats. 

The views of the allies and their captain-general for 

this enterprise were vast, comprehending the siege of 

Constantinople and an invasion of Egypt : and the latter 

was indefatigable in his endeavours to put the armament 

1 Vat. Urb. MSS., 1023, art. i, 


upon a footing equal to such extensive designs, both as to 
its numbers and material. The enterprise was invested 
with the sacred character of a religious war ; but whilst 
Francesco Maria concentrated upon it the energies of a 
mind in its prime, and the exertions of a frame renovated 
by new specifics against his hereditary enemy the gout, 
the hand of death was upon him. Returned to Venice 
from a comprehensive survey of her defences in Dalmatia 
and Istria, he was attacked by sudden illness on the 20th 
of September. Foreseeing its fatal termination, he had 
himself taken by sea to Pesaro, which he reached on the 
8th of October. Next day he showed himself on horse- 
back to his people, but feeling unequal to the exertion he 
took to bed, and gradually lost strength. On Monday, 
the 2 1st, a fit deprived him of speech, yet he continued 
sensible until near daybreak of the 22nd, when he expired 
in religious penitence, after receiving the sacraments. 

All authorities agree in attributing his death to poison, 
but neither Leoni nor Baldi hint at the person whose 
"envy" dictated that base vengeance.*^ Giovio speaks 
positively as to detection having followed upon a search- 
ing inquiry, and points at those interested in the Camerino 
question as authors of the crime. Sardi and Tondini 
charge it upon Luigi Gonzaga, Count of Sabionetta, sur- 
named Rodomonte, the nephew of Francesco da Bozzolo, 
a condottiere who commanded Bourbon's cavalry at the 
assault of Rome, and who facilitated Clement's flight some 
months thereafter. This assertion, which is adopted by 
various writers, receives some confirmation from a story in 
the gossiping MS. we have already quoted, that Gonzaga, 
having accused Gian Giacomo Leonardi, a doctor of laws 
at Pesaro, of instigating the murder, was challenged by 
the latter, who thereby gained the favour of Duke Guido- 

*^ Cf. ViANi, L av'jclenamcnto di Francesco Maria I. del/a Rovere (Man- 
tova, 1902), and La Morte di F. M. della Rovere ^ in Fanfulla della Doitienica, 
23 March, 1902. 

72 MEMOIRS OF THE [1538 

baldo II., and with it the countship of Monte 1' Abate, near 
Pesaro.^ On the other hand, this Rodomonte is stated in Les 
Genealogies des Maisons Souveraines to have died in 1528. 

Whoever may have been author of the foul deed, it is 
agreed that the perpetrator was the Duke's Mantuan 
barber, who is generally said to have dropped a poisoned 
lotion into his ear. Baldi only mentions that he did it 
" in a new way," and gives no account of the medical ex- 
amination of the body which, he asserts, took place. In 
an old chronicle of Sinigaglia, Guidobaldo is stated to 
have had the barber torn to pieces with pincers, and quar- 
tered in the streets of Pesaro.^ 

After a cast in plaster had been taken from his features, 
the body was dressed in a quilted doublet and hose ot 
black satin, under his inlaid armour, over which was the 
ducal tunic, and, above all, the mantle of crimson satin 
embroidered in gold, which he had worn as Prefect at the 
coronation of Charles V. Next evening it was borne, 
with torches, by the principal courtiers, to the great hall, 
and there placed upon an elevated catafalque of black and 
gold, on which were arranged his ducal helmet, three mag- 
nificent head pieces, and as many silver batons of com- 
mand ; five standards which he had captured being set 
round with other trophies. It was watched all night, and 
lay in state till the following evening, when it was coffined 
in the dress just described. The same night it was taken 
on a litter to Urbino by torch-light, escorted by a vast 
following on horseback and on foot, under soaking rain. 
At the confines of the respective territories it was delivered 
over to the authorities and clergy of that city, preceded by 
mutes and mourners of various grades ; among whom was 
led the Duke's favourite jennet, covered with black velvet, 
his ducal mail and morion being carried by a page in deep 

^ Relazione della Legazione di Urbino, Bib. Marucc. c. 30S. 
2 Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 9'J2. Gozzi's Chronicle, Oliveriana MSS., No. 324. 
Also Teohies's MS. narrative, penes me. 


weeds. Reaching the city at sunrise, the procession was 
joined by the chief magistrates, nobility, clergy, and citi- 
zens, and so arrived, through tearful crowds, at the church 
of Sta. Chiara, again to lie in state until evening, when it 
was stripped of its armour, and there committed to the 
dust at the left horn of the altar. It was subsequently 
deposited, by his grandson Francesco Maria II., in a tomb 
raised over the spot by Bartolomeo Ammanati, from the 
design of Girolamo Genga, which was eventually removed 
as inconveniently cumbering the church. The following 
epitaph, written by desire of the widowed Duchess, and 
ascribed to the pen of Bembo, is panelled into the wall : — 

"To Duke Francesco Maria, endowed with the most 
comprehensive capacity for war and peace. His hereditary 
states, thrice lost by violence, he thrice by valour regained, 
and ruled them, when reconquered, with moderation ; he 
commanded the Ecclesiastical, the Florentine, and the 
Venetian forces ; finally, he was chosen general-in-chief 
for the Turkish war, but was cut off ere it opened. Leo- 
nora, his most devoted wife, placed this to her most 
meritorious lord, and to herself." 

One more ceremonial was wanting to complete the 
measure of respectful duty to the deceased sovereign. 
On the 13th [or 22nd] of November, his obsequies were 
celebrated in the cathedral of Urbino. The church decora- 
tions, the catafalque, the vast concourse of clergy, of depu- 
tations, and of people of all classes, were such as the 
mournful solemnity required, and the sincere grief of 
his subjects dictated. The function was conducted by 
Federigo Fregoso, Archbishop of Salerno, whom we have 
formerly known at the court of Duke Guidobaldo I., and 
the funeral oration was spoken by Maestro Benedetto 
Milesio, Another, by Lorenzo Contarini, was pronounced 
at Venice, where the Signory ordered a celebration of his 
obsequies with unwonted splendour, besides voting him an 
equestrian statue in bronze. This was never executed, 

74 MEMOIRS OF THE [1538 

but another statue of him, made by Bandini for his grand- 
son, the last Duke of Urbino, was presented to the 
Republic under touching circumstances, which we shall 
detail in the fifty-fourth chapter of this work. 

The life of Francesco Maria affords a remarkable instance 
of the extremes of fortune. He was deprived of parental 
care at an early age, when it was peculiarly desirable as a 
restraint upon his naturally fiery temper. Soon after, he 
was hurried from his hereditary state, and compelled to 
seek safety in France. In the outset of manhood, his 
ungoverned passion involved him in the stigma of a 
sacrilegious murder. Twice was he deprived of the in- 
fluential sovereignty to which he had attained, and 
recovered it only after years of exile, and at a ruinous 
pecuniary sacrifice. The lustre of a brilliant position, 
and of a distinguished military career, was veiled by 
his utter failure to save or rescue Rome. Finally, he 
was snatched from life just as a new and nobler field 
was opening for his martial glories. Reversing the 
picture, we find a youth of ardent temperament, born 
to princely sway, and becoming at eighteen the heir of 
one uncle in an important duchy, and the favourite of 
another, who, by virtue of his triple tiara, conferred upon 
him yet a third state. A military hero ere he escaped 
from his teens, his renown ever extended with his age. 
Thirty years after his star had set, a Venetian ambassador 
called him the light and splendour of Italy ; and notwith- 
standing some palpable blunders, he is still ranked with 
the first commanders of his native land. He died when 
his fame was at its height, and transmitted unquestioned 
to his son, that sovereignty which thrice had been wrested 
from him. 

It is from posthumous influences that his reputation has 
suffered most severely ; and the three standard historians 


of his times, in Italy, England, and France, have meted 
him sparing justice. Without questioning the value of 
Guicciardini's narrative as the fullest exposition of the age 
in which he lived, and the most graphic portraiture of 
many of its features and incidents, we must demur to the 
"fearless impartiality" too hastily allowed him in modern 
times. True, he was not, like Machiavelli, a practised 
intriguer, acute to detect perverted purpose, or prone to 
assume its existence ; nor did he, like Giovio, employ the 
iron stylus of vengeance, or the golden pen of ilattery, as 
passion might prompt or venality dictate. But, born a 
Florentine, and favoured by the Medici, he was the 
partisan of that house in the closet as in the field ; and 
no one thus shackled could write impartially of Francesco 
Maria della Rovere. Roscoe, with similar predilections, 
though far less biased, had no inducement to become 
champion of a sovereign whom Leo X. had twice expelled ; 
whilst Sismondi, enamoured of nominal republics, is ever 
ready to echo taunts or calumnies pointed at an Italian 
prince. The examination of many less popular historians, 
and of numerous unpublished contemporary authorities, 
has, we trust, enabled us to place this Duke's character and 
conduct in a more true light, without extenuating the 
manifest errors of either. 

Though small in person, Francesco Maria was active 
and well formed, with a manly air, a quick eye, and an 
engaging presence. His manner and address were mild 
and pleasing, and his conversation was seasoned with 
lively jests. He was strict in religious observances, an 
enemy to blasphemous language, and intolerant of those 
insults to female honour with which war was then lament- 
ably fraught. In the regulation of his army, as in the 
government of his state, justice was his ruling principle. 
Of his unhappy violence of temper we have already had 
too much reason to speak ; it was the bane of his life, the 
blot on his fame. Yet he was generous and forgiving, as 

76 MEMOIRS OF THE [1538 

he proved by putting his personal enemy Guicciardini on 
his guard against the designs of San Severino, Count of 
Caiazzo, who, having suffered from the Florentine's captious 
allegations, had resolved to assassinate him.^ 

A soldier by education, taste, and long habit, his char- 
acter should be judged by a military standard ; and per- 
haps the best tribute to his glory consisted in the public 
rejoicings ordered by Sultan Solyman on hearing of his 
untimely death. In following the narrative of his cam- 
paigns, we have unsparingly pointed out the faults which 
seemed to cramp his success. They were obviously syste- 
matic, arising from an excess of that caution, which his 
natural prudence and foresight prompted, and which the 
examples of Fabius Maximus and Prospero Colonna in 
some degree authorised. Yet we must not overlook an im- 
portant element of consideration, in the quality of troops 
under his command from 1523 to 1528. His want of con- 
fidence in them was avowed, and in more than one instance 
it was justified, when their steadiness was put to the test. 
Nor was he less fettered by the faulty organisation of that 
army, made up of various contingents under their respective 
leaders, without a responsible commanding officer, and in 
which civilians were allowed a veto fatal to unity of action. 
The verdict of his contemporaries may, however, be ad- 
mitted as conclusive upon his military reputation. Rus- 
celli tells us that he was, by common consent, called the 
father and founder of the art of war, as practised in the 
sixteenth century ; and the opinion of the only dissentient, 
Guicciardini, a private enemy and no soldier, is amply 
balanced by that of Giovanni de' Medici, who ranked him 
in skilful tactics, and in the arts of command, as well as 
in foresight and activity, equal to the ablest generals. 
The testimony of Charles V. has been already given ; and 
we are assured that after a public disputation in Padua, 
sustained by men of the greatest learning, he was voted 
^ Leoni, p. 386. 



a match to any hero of antiquity, in judgment, experience, 
ingenuity, and military talent. Promis, with assuredly 
no friendly leaning, admits his great skill in military 
architecture, stating that he was often consulted by the 
principal engineers of Italy, and especially by Sanmichele, 
upon the fortifications of Corfu, regarding which that 
author attributes to him a Report to the Signory of 
Rome, now in the Ambrosian Library of Milan.'^ His 
opinion as to the defences of their lagoons, and principal 
garrisons on terra-firma, was, on various occasions, re- 
quested by that Republic, and during his command in 
Lombardy the towns of Lodi, Crema, Bergamo, Marti- 
nengo, and Orcinovo were all strengthened after his de- 
signs, Tartagli and Contriotto acknowledged their obliga- 
tions to his suggestions ; but Promis denies him the in- 
vention of baloards, as we have already seen, when writing 
of Francesco di Giorgio. The school of military engineer- 
ing formed under his eye, during almost continual cam- 
paigns, numbered many distinguished professors of that 
art, among whom were Pietro Luigi Escriva, Gianbattista 
Bellucci, Nicolo Tartaglia, Girolamo Genga, Gian Giacomo 
Leonardi, and Jacopo Fusto Castriotto, the last three of 
whom were natives of his state. 

But let us hear the evidence of contemporaries as to his 
character. Urbano Urbani, then his private secretary, 
thus describes him on succeeding to the dukedom : — " He 
was naturally low in stature, but well-proportioned, and 
of fine complexion. The short distance from his heart to 
his brain rendered his disposition choleric. Ever in move- 
ment, he was impatient of repose. Thoughtful, his ideas 
and discourse tended to lofty themes. Ready of hand, 
he dexterously managed, on horseback or afoot, the arms 
then in use. Of high courage, he invariably bent his 
mind to objects conducive to his honour and renown, 

^ Trattato di Architettura di Francesco di Gio7-gio, vol. II., p. 67. (Turin, 

78 MEMOIRS OF THE [1538 

especially in war. He was just, honest, averse to swear- 
ing, liberal, incorruptible, and no boaster. He loathed 
incontinence, and youthful excesses. In his household 
he was fond of splendour, and he generally entertained, 
in his almost regal court, a large attendance of distin- 
guished gentlemen, such as Ottaviano Fregoso, Ludovico 
Pio, Gaspare Pallavicino, Giuliano de' Medici, Pietro 
Bembo, Baldassare Castiglione, Cesare Gonzaga (all of 
whom had been attached to his uncle Guidobaldo), Am- 
brogio Landriano, Febo da Cevi and his brother Gher- 
ardino, Filippino Doria, Benedetto Giraldi, and others 
conspicuous in arms, letters, or music ; among whom 
Baldi names also Matteo della Branca, Carlo Gabrielli, 
Father Andreoni, Troiano and Gentile Carbonani, Count 
Gentile Ubaldini.^ 

Had his lot been cast in less turbulent times, it would 
have been his pride to maintain about him this goodly 
company, although he pretended not to his predecessor's 
literary tastes, and, if we may credit Sanuto, was unable 
to follow an oration delivered in Latin, on his arrival at 
Venice, in 1524. Yet, he was not indifferent to letters 
when connected with the engrossing occupation of his 
mind ; and it was his habit, when time permitted, to have 
passages of ancient history read to him during several 
hours a day. This relaxation was varied by discussions 
arising out of these prelections, which he generally directed 
to military points, drawing out the opinions of his officers 
in attendance. Hence probably were suggested the 
Military Discourses, published in his name, of which we 
have already spoken ; and various memorials of his con- 
versation are preserved in a manuscript, which has supplied 
us with the anecdotes formerly quoted.^ These were 
selected as illustrative of manners, from notes apparently 
made by a bystander ; the others are almost exclusively 

* Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 4S9, f. 61. See for many of these, vol. II. 
2 See Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1023 art., 21. 


upon military tactics and fortification, in which he was 
quite an adept. 

Leonardi^ confirms what we have stated of his char- 
acter, dwelling much on his tendency to practical views. 
The sketch of Cristofero Centenelli must close these 
remarks : — " Though considered somewhat overbearing 
and hasty, he was at all times just. Even in youth, 
he was singularly self-denying of personal indulgences : 
guarding himself from the temptations of luxury and in- 
dolence, he sought daily occupation in the practice of 
arms, athletic sports, and equestrian exercises. He was 
liberal and magnificent, but grave and magnanimous ; 
kind and affable to his friends, equitable and compassion- 
ate to his subjects. His courage was fiery and indomit- 
able ; of cold and heat, fatigue, watching, and privation, 
he was most enduring. He combined, to a rare degree, 
boldness in the field with prudence in the council-room, 
avoiding equally their extremes of temerity and timidity. 
To great skill in military discipline, he united uncommon 
perspicacity in discovering the snares of seeming friends 
or of open foes : astute with enemies, he was guarded 
with all. His eloquence commanded general admiration 
by its studied brevity, expressing the clearest views in 
fewest words." 2 

The Duke's constant and dutiful affection to his pre- 
decessor's widow deserves special notice. While she lived 
she shared his home, in prosperity or adversity, in sove- 
reignty or in exile ; and he occasionally availed himself 
of her prudence and popularity in the administration of 
the state during his absences. An interesting memorial 
of this filial affection is afforded by the following letter, 
which seems to have been written by Duchess Elisabetta. 

" To the most illustrious Lord, my most esteemed 
Son, the Duke of Urbino, &c. 
" The chair is so beautiful that neither words nor pen 
1 Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1023, f. 85. ^ Ibid. No. 907. 


suffice to express my thanks for this proof of regard ; but 
most heartily, and with all the good will it merits, I accept 
so handsome and gallant a gift, and I shall use it for your 
sake as long as God pleases : it is not less beautiful than 
dear to me. I have seen the news sent by the Count : he 
would have done better to sacrifice something than to lose 
all by his imprisonment. We expect you in the morning. 
The Duchess kisses your hands and your mouth, and I 
commend myself to you with eternal thanks. 

"Your Mother. 
"The 8th of August"! 

The widowed Duchess Leonora remained at Pesaro, 
stricken with grief, from which she slowly recovered to 
find a solace in her children. By her husband's will she 
had 28,000 scudi, besides the life-rent of his Neapolitan 
fiefs at Sora, which were left in remainder to their younger 
son Giulio. To each of the daughters were provided 
20,000 scudi. She died at Gubbio, in 1543. Her devoted 
affection to her husband was accompanied by much 
sterling worth of character ; but she was especially dis- 
tinguished for that equanimity of temper which marks the 
expression of her admirable portrait in the Florence Gal- 

The children of Francesco Maria were these : — 

1. Federigo, born in March, 151 1, and died young. 

2. GuiDOBALDO, his successor, born 2nd April, 15 14. 

3. Ippolita, married in 1531, to Don Antonio d'Ara- 
gona, son of the Duke of Montalto, in Naples. 

4. GlULIA, married in 1 548, to Alfonso d'Este, Mar- 
quis of Montechio, son of Duke Alfonso I. From 
her descend the sovereign Dukes of Modena and 

5. Elisabetta, married in 1552, to Alberico Cibo, 

^ Oliveriana MSS. No. 375. This may, however, have been addressed 
by Duchess Vittoria to Francesco Maria II. 


Marquis of Massa, and died in 1561. P'rom her 
descended the sovereign Dukes of Massa Carrara. 

I. GlULIO, who was born at Mantua on the 8th of April, 
and created by his father Duke of Sora. He was 
educated for the Church, where his talents and 
application to business merited the shower of prefer- 
ments which his high birth insured him, and which 
began by his nomination as Cardinal of S. Pietro in 
Vinculis by Paul III., when fourteen years of age. 
In 1548 he was made Bishop of Urbino, a dignity 
which he resigned three years later, on being ap- 
pointed Legate of Rieti and Terni. In 1560 he 
had the see of Vicenza, but soon exchanged it for 
Recanati. In 1565, he was promoted to be Arch- 
bishop of Ravenna, to which was added, in 1570, 
the see of Tusculum ; and, in 1578, when within a 
few months of his death, he became Archbishop of 
Urbino, having for some years previously been 
Legate of Umbria, and governor of Loreto. In 
these high posts he united to excellent business 
habits, and great energy in the discharge of his 
duties, a taste for magnificence, which made him 
popular with all classes. By his own family he was 
regarded as a valuable counsellor in every difficulty, 
and he greatly promoted the government of his 
brother and nephew, to whom he served as a sort 
of prime minister. His career of honour and 
utility was closed by a premature death, on the 5th 
September, 1578, when but forty-three years of age. 
Under his superintendence was drawn up a code of 
Regulations \Riformazioni\ of Justice, which was 
published with his name in 1549. It does not 
appear in what way the dukedom of Sora and Arci 
passed from him, but, before the end of the century, 
it had been granted by Philip II. to Giacomo Bon- 
compagno, natural son of Pope Gregory XIII. 

III. — a 


From his descendants, the Princes of Piombino, 
that fief passed, about the end of last century, to the 
Neapolitan government ; and its picturesque baro- 
nial towers at Isola, once the scene of their festive 
revels, are now degraded into a woollen factory. 
The Cardinal left two natural sons, who were both 
legitimated by Pius V. : — 

1. Ippolito della Rovere, who had from his father 
San Lorenzo and Castel Leone above Sinigag- 
lia, and was made Marquis of San Lorenzo in 
1584, on his marriage with Isabella, daughter 
of Giacomo Vitelli dell' Amatrice, with 30,000 
scudi of dowry. He had issue, i. Giulio, who 
was disinherited for bad conduct ; 2. Livia, 
born 1585, who became Duchess of Urbino in 
1599 5 3- Lucrezia, who married the Marchese 
Marc Antonio Lanti, and had issue. 

2. Giuliano, Prior of Corinaldo, and Abbot of 
San Lorenzo. 




Succession of Duke Guidobaldo II. — He loses Camerino and the Prefecture 
of Rome — The altered state of Italy — Death of Duchess Giulia — The 
Duke's remarriage — Affairs of the Farnesi. 

THE course of our narrative seems to offer a not 
altogether fanciful analogy to that of the Tiber. 
Issuing from the rugged Apennines, this, with 
puny rill, is gradually recruited from their 
many valleys until it has gained the force and energy 
of a brawling torrent, and has absorbed a goodly portion 
of the Umbrian waters. So, too, the former has brought 
us past scenes of martial prowess and creations of me- 
diaeval policy. It has afforded us glimpses of townships 
where civil institutions revived, and letters were cherished, 
the petty capitals from whose courts civilisation was 
diffused. Carrying us across the blood-watered and time- 
defaced Campagna, it has conducted us to Rome at the 
moment of her lamentable sack by barbarian hordes. 
Henceforward our history, like the river, will decline in 
interest. The sluggish and turbid stream has little to 
enliven that dreary and degenerate land through which 
it must still conduct us. This contrast will be especially 
irksome in the life of Duke Guidobaldo II., who kept 
much aloof from the few events of stirring interest which 
then occurred in the Peninsula. We shall therefore hasten 
over it, in the hope that those who favour us with their 
company may find, in the incidents of his successor, a 
somewhat renovated interest, and may be gratified to 
learn by what means our mountain duchy came to be 




/* [l- 1547] 


[7. 1606] 



finally absorbed in the papal dominions, just as the tawny 
river is lost in the pathless sea. 

The birth-day of Guidobaldo II. has been variously 
stated; most authorities fix it on the 2nd of April, 15 14, 
although the customary donative appears from an old 
chronicle to have been voted by the municipality of Ur- 
bino on the 17th of March. The Prince saw the light at 
a moment inauspicious for his dynasty. Under the foster- 
ing care of Julius II. it had attained its culminating point; 
and although his successor still smiled upon the far- 
spreading oak of Umbria,*^ the intrigues of Leo X. were 
already preparing its overthrow. The infant had scarcely 
passed his second year, when the ducal family were driven 
from their states, and sought a friendly shelter at the 
Mantuan capital. Before their five years of exile in Lom- 
bardy had gone by, Guidobaldo is said to have been sent 
to the university of Padua. His early education was 
committed to Guido Posthumo Silvestro, who describes 
him as displaying, even in childhood, the spirit of his 
father, and of his grand-uncle Julius II., whilst his mild 
temper and sweet expression were those of his mother.^ 
The preceptor, a native of Pesaro, was tempted by attach- 
ment to his early patrons, the Sforza, to avenge them with 
his pen, on the invasion of the Duke Valentino, upon 
whom and whose race he charged, in some bitter lampoons 
mentioned by Roscoe, all those crimes which have become 
matter of history. But years rendered him more pliant ; 
for when another revolution came round, the attentions he 
had met with at the court of Urbino did not prevent his 
resorting, on Duke Francesco Maria's exile, to the protec- 
tion of Leo, or lavishing eulogy and flattery upon that 

*^ The Rovere were anything but an Umbrian family, as we have seen. 
* " Guidus Juliades, qui, quamquam mitis et ore 
Blandus, ut ex vultu possis cognoscere matrem 
Patrem animis tamen et primis patruum exprimit annis. " 
See as to Guido in Roscoe's Leo X., ch. xvii. 

88 MEMOIRS OF THE [1527-34 

Pontiff. At Rome, he enjoyed the consideration there 
freely bestowed upon poets and wits, among whom Giovio 
assigns him a conspicuous place ; but the life of luxurious 
indulgence to which he was tempted having undermined 
his health, he died in 1521. 

Our authorities, barren of interest for the domestic life of 
Duke Francesco Maria,*^ are altogether a blank as regards 
his children, and we know nothing of the Prince beyond 
the fact of his sharing his mother's virtual arrest at Venice 
in 1527. His early tastes seemed to have turned upon 
horses : in 1529, he ordered from Rome a set of housings 
for his charger, with minute instructions accompanying the 
pattern ; ten years later, the Grand Duke Cosimo I. re- 
gretted his inability to find for him such horses as he had 
desired; and he appears to have paid 70 golden scudi for 
one from Naples. In 1843, I was shown, at Pesaro, the 
wooden model of a beautiful little Arab, which had long 
been preserved in the Giordani family, covered with the 
skin of his favourite charger, a fragment of which remained. 
We have seen Guidobaldo complimented by Clement VII. 
in 1529, and in that year he had a condotta from Venice, 
for seventy-five men-at-arms, and a hundred and fifty light 
horse, with 1000 ducats of pay for himself, 100 for each 
man-at-arms, and 50 for each horseman. In 1532, his 
father, on departing from Lombardy, left him regent of the 
duchy. The circumstances of his marriage, on the 12th of 
October, 1534, to Giulia Varana, then but eleven years of 
age, and her questionable succession to her paternal state 
of Camerino, have been fully detailed in our preceding 
chapter.^ From 1534 till his father's death, in 1538, he 

*^ For certain details of Court life, cf. Vernarecci, Di akune rappre- 
sentazio7ii Dranunatiche nella Corte di Urbino in Arch, St. per le Marche e per 
PUmbria, vol. III., p. l8i et seq., and Rossi, Appunti per la Storia Delia 
Musica alia Corte di Francesco Maria I. e di Gtiidobaldo delta Rovere in 
Rassegna Entiliana (Modena, iS88), vol. I., fasc. 8 ; also Vanzolini, 
Musica e Datiza alia Corte di Urbino, in Le Marche (1904), An. iv., fasc. vi. , 
p. 325 et scq. 

2 In the Harleian MSS. No. 282, f. 63, is a letter from Henry VIII. of 


ClJlM DiALliO II, DUKE OK I l;l;IMi 
From a / icturc in the Albani Palace in Koine 



seems to have exercised the rights of sovereignty, with the 
title of Duke of Camerino, unchallenged by the Pontiff, 
who had recalled his censures. But no sooner was Paul III. 
relieved from the influential opposition of Francesco Maria, 
than his designs upon that principality were firmly carried 

We possess from an eye-witness these ample details as 
to the ceremonial of investing Guidobaldo with his heredi- 
tary succession : — " On the evening of Thursday [25th of 
October], the day of the Duke's interment, his son the 
Prince arrived at Urbino about nine o'clock, attended by 
all the nobility, gentry, and officials, including Stefano 
Vigerio, the governor, and many more, who had gone out 
to meet him. Dismounting in the palace-yard, he pro- 
ceeded to the ducal chamber, which, as well as the great 
hall, was hung with black. There he dismissed the 
strangers to lodgings provided for them in the town, and 
passed next day in grief and absolute seclusion along with 
his consort, preparations being meanwhile made to traverse 
the city.^ Accordingly, on Saturday morning, mass of the 
Holy Spirit having been said by the Bishop of Cagli, who 
thereafter breakfasted in the palace, the citizens and popu- 
lace crowded to the piazza, where the doctors and nobles 
assembled to accompany the priors. Thither also came a 
hundred youths of good family, in doublets of sky-blue 
velvet, with gilt swords by their side, followed by a vast 
many children bearing olive-boughs. The new Duke 
having been meanwhile dressed in white velvet and satin, 
with cap and plume of the same colour, Captain-general 
Luc-Antonio Brancarini marshalled the procession. The 
gonfaloniere marched first, in a jerkin of black velvet under 

28th November, in his 30th year [1538], to Sir Thomas Wyatt, his ambassa- 
dor to the Emperor, proposing a marriage of the Princess Mary either to the 
young Duke ot Cleves and Juliers, or to " the present Duke of Urbyne," and 
desiring him to sound "whether he wold be gladd to have us to wyve with 
any of them." Guidobaldo had been already wedded for four years ! 

^ Correre la terra is the usual phrase for taking sovereign possession, lik? 
"riding the marches'" of Scottish burghs. 

90 MEMOIRS OF THE [1538 

a long surcoat of black damask lined with crimson, begirt 
with a gold-mounted sword ; his cap on his head and his 
mace lowered. He was followed by the nobility, the doctors, 
and citizens ; and on entering the palace they halted in 
the basement suite towards the garden, which were all 
hung with tapestry, the windows of the great hall being 
occupied by the Duchess and her ladies in magnificent 
attire. When all was ready, the Prince issued forth into 
the Piazza, and advanced to the cathedral, followed by the 
officials and train. At the top of the steps he knelt on a 
rich carpet and brocade cushions, whilst the bishop, chap- 
ter, and clergy came out, and with the usual ceremonies 
brought him into the church, and to the high altar, before 
which other ceremonials were gone through, and he offered 
an oblation-coin of ten Mantuan ducats. Meanwhile his 
charger was brought to the foot of the steps, covered to 
the neck with a housing of silver tissue, and other trap- 
pings, including a white plume. It was led by seven lads 
of the chief Urbino families, Bonaventura, Peruli, Pas- 
sionei, Cornei, Corboli, and Muccioli, all richly apparelled, 
and two of them holding goads. There was also a horse 
for the Gonfaloniere with velvet harness, led by two 
lads. The fore-mentioned hundred youths and numerous 
children having ranged themselves around, the Prince and 
Gonfaloniere descended the steps and mounted their 
steeds, and the latter, drawing his sword, proclaimed 
aloud 'The Duke, the Duke; Feltro, Feltro; 
GuiDOBALDO, GUIDOBALDO ! ' the cry being taken up 
and repeated by all. The cortege, making a circuit by 
Plan di Marcato, Valbona, Santa Lucia, and Santa Chiara, 
returned to the palace, where the Duke dismounted. His 
charger and mantle were then seized, as their perquisite, 
by the youths, who, mounting one of their number, Antonio 
dei Galli, again went through the city crying and making 
merry. The Duke, having taken his seat with his consort, 
received the gonfaloniere, priors, and citizens to kiss hands. 


From the picture by Titian in the Pitti Gallery. Florence 

(Probal'ly once in the Diical Collection) 


" On the following morning, there came in envoys from 
various places to offer their condolence, wearing mourning 
robes that swept the ground. The first who had audience 
were the gonfaloniere and priors of Urbino, and then those 
from San Marino. After breakfast, the other communities 
were admitted without order, in consequence of a wrangle 
for precedence between Gubbio and Pesaro, Cagli and 
Fossombrone, and this continued till seven o'clock in the 
evening. Next Monday being the festival of San Simone, 
the oath of allegiance was administered on Tuesday. A 
stage covered with black was erected between the two 
windows of the great hall, on which stood a bench with a 
coverlet of black velvet, and thereon an open missal, with 
a miniature of the crucifixion. After breakfasting, the 
Duke seated himself on this stage, with Messer Stefano, 
one of the judges ; and the deputies from communes 
being assembled, with their commissions in their hands, 
Messer Stefano called upon the magistrates of Urbino 
with about a hundred of the citizens, desiring them to 
swear fidelity, as was right and customary, which they 
did, formally placing their hands on the crucifixion. 
Thereafter, the envoys of other communities were brought 
up and sworn ; but on account of the aforesaid wrangling, 
those of Pesaro, Sinigaglia, Fossombrone, and Cagli were 
sent back to take the oaths at home. Next day, however, 
on their humble petition, those of Cagli and Fossombrone 
were received, along with some other highland deputies 
who had come in late ; but Pesaro, Sinigaglia, and the 
vicariat, took the oaths before the vice-dukes in their 
respective cities. On the following Tuesday, there arrived 
four envoys from Fano, and two from Citta di Castello, to 
offer condolence, who were honourably received ; and next 
day came those of Camerino and Rimini, men of high 
station. On Thursday, Messer Quaglino, ambassador from 
the Duke of Ferrara, dismounted at Pesaro, to condole with 
the dowager Duchess, and thence proceeded with a suite 

92 MEMOIRS OF THE [1538 

of five to Urbino, where he was lodged for three days in 
the Passionei Palace, and had audience. At the same 
time, the like formalities were discharged by Vicenzo 
Schippo, who came with an escort of ten, as representa- 
tive of the Duke of Mantua. On Sunday, deputations 
from all parts of the duchy went to offer their duty at 
Pesaro to the widowed Duchess." 

The smouldering embers of the Camerino quarrel soon 
burst forth, when Paul III. found that the Emperor's 
influence and the arms of Venice were no longer arrayed 
against his grasping pretensions, and that the weight of 
the struggle had devolved from a renowned warrior to an 
untried youth. In order to supplement the legal deficien- 
cies of his case, the Pontiff had in 1537 conferred certain 
estates upon Ercole Varana, on condition of his claims 
upon the succession of Camerino being assigned to his 
own grandson Ottavio Farnese ; but the death of Fran- 
cesco Maria having released him from the necessity of 
temporising, he at once sent a body of troops into that 
duchy, under Stefan o Colonna or Alessandro Vitelli. The 
young Duke, relying on the support of Venice and the 
Medici, was at first disposed to resist, but finding himself 
deserted, soon abandoned the idea. He had in the history 
of his family too many examples of the perils of papal 
nepotism ; and it was obvious that the times were past 
when church feudatories had anything to hope from single- 
handed contests with their over-lord. In the certainty 
that to provoke this would be to hazard all, he made up 
his mind to an unwilling compromise, surrendering his 
wife's rights to Camerino for a full investiture of his own 
dukedom, and the sum of 78,000 golden scudi as a poor 
compensation for her inheritance. This transaction was 
completed on the 8th of January, 1539; nor was it the only 
mortification he was destined to undergo from the ambition 
of the Farnesi. The Prefecture of Rome, although held 
by his father and grandfather, was a personal dignity at 



the disposal of the new Pope, who conferred it upon his 
own grandson Ottavio, In the end of 1538, he also 
married that youth, then but fifteen, to Margaret of Aus- 
tria, natural daughter of Charles V. and widow of Duke 
Alessandro de' Medici, who had been slain by his cousin 
Lorenzino, within a year after his marriage. That imperi- 
ous dame, who brought Ottavio a handsome dower in lands 
about Ortona on the Adriatic, wrought upon the weakness 
of Paul, until in 1545, she obtained for her husband's 
father, Pier-Luigi, natural son of his Holiness, the sove- 
reign duchy of Parma and Piacenza. In order to put a 
gloss upon this dismemberment of the ecclesiastical states, 
and to accommodate the whole arrangement to the modi- 
fied nepotism of his age, the Pontiff stipulated for a 
resurrender by Ottavio to the Holy See of Camerino and 
Nepi. These remained part of the papal temporalities, 
whilst their Lombard duchy gave to the Farnese family 
an important position among the sovereign houses of 

Although the altered circumstances of Italy which 
humbled her pride had also arrested her convulsions, these 
untoward events, at the outset of his reign, proved to 
Guidobaldo that her few remaining principalities were far 
from secure. To strengthen his position became therefore 
a natural policy ; and although neither the Emperor nor 
the Venetian Signory had lent a willing ear to his repre- 
sentations on the subject of Camerino, he sent to remind 
the former of his promise to give him a company of men- 
at-arms, whilst, with the Pope's permission, he accepted 
from the latter a two years' engagement. The terms of 
this condotta, which was dated in 1539, and continued in 
force until 1552, were one hundred men-at-arms and as 
many light cavalry, with 4000 ducats of piatto or yearly 
pay, and an obligation to have in readiness ten of his 
father's veteran captains, whose monthly pay was fixed at 
15 scudi in peace, and 25 in war. Four years later he was 


requested by the Republic to serve them in another 
capacity, by complimenting Charles V. in their name on 
his passage into Germany, on which occasion he was 
accompanied by the vile sycophant Pietro Aretino. 

In our fourteenth chapter, we had occasion to consider 
the change which military affairs underwent in Italy about 
the time of the first French invasion, and we have seen in 
Duke Federigo of Urbino one of the last condottieri of the 
old sort. But it was not until the fall of Rome and Flor- 
ence had extinguished Italian independence, that military 
adventure was entirely abolished ; and it is curious to find 
in his grandson Duke Francesco Maria I., not only the 
latest captain who gathered laurels under that system, but 
to see him joining with the Pope and the Medici to exter- 
minate those armed hordes which survived its mercenary 
armaments, and which, like the restless spirits of a departed 
generation, troubled the repose of their degenerate sons.^ 
Their occupation was indeed gone. Tamed by invaders 
whom they were powerless to resist, domestic broils no 
longer demanded their services. Their forays were become 
intolerable in a land where peace was the price of freedom. 
How far the earlier adoption of Machiavelli's plans of de- 
fence might have availed against ultramontane hosts were 
now a vain speculation ; they were only destined for trial 
after the sacrifice had been consummated. The national 
militia suggested by him was not enrolled until there was 
no longer a nationality to defend — until it was needed but 
as an armed police under foreign control. 

This new force had been embodied in our duchy under 
the name of the Feltrian Legion, by a proclamation dated 
1st of March, 1533, and it so fully satisfied the late Duke's 
expectations that he gradually increased his militia to 
five thousand men in four regiments. Such was the de- 
scription of troops which henceforward maintained order 
at Urbino, or were subsidised on foreign service. But 

RicOTTi, IV., p. 129, quoting Adriani Storie, lib. II. 


their sinews, hardened by a rude cHmate and rugged 
homes, maintained for them the reputation gained by 
their ancestors; and although Duke Guidobaldo II. lived 
in quiet times, and pretended to no heroic aspirations, we 
find him accepting of commands offered chiefly for the 
sake of securing his hardy mountaineers. 

The abject position in which Italy was left after the 
wars of Clement VII. has already been noticed. Her 
internal conflicts were at an end. Of those states whose 
struggles for independence or for mastery had during long 
ages convulsed her, the lesser had been absorbed by the 
more powerful, and these in their turn had bowed to 
foreign dominion or foreign influence. She was tran- 
quillised but trodden down, pacified but prostrate. Her 
history became but a series of episodes in the annals of 
ultramontane nations, on whom her few remaining princes 
and commonwealths grew into dependent satellites. Even 
the popes, no longer arbiters of European policy, sought 
a reflected consequence by attaching themselves to the 
interests of France, Spain, or the Empire. Nor were they 
losers by the change to the same degree as other 
Peninsular powers. The papacy was indeed shorn in part 
of its temporal lustre. It no longer directed the diplomacy 
of Christendom, nor did it waste its resources upon bloody 
and bootless campaigns. But as its energies were gradu- 
ally weaned from general politics, they became more con- 
centrated upon ecclesiastical affairs. The small speck on 
the horizon towards which Leo X. had scarcely directed 
a look or an anxiety, was now rapidly overspreading the 
sky, and already excluded the rays of Catholicism from 
a large portion of Central Europe. His successors, 
threatened with the loss of spiritual as well as temporal 
ascendancy, had the wisdom to make a stand for mainten- 
ance of the former, leaving the latter to its fate. The 
spirit of popery from aggressive became conservative ; its 

96 MEMOIRS OF THE [1540 

military tactics gave place to theological weapons. It was 
by Paul III. that a vigorous opposition was first made to 
the Reformation, the primary steps taken towards that 
Catholic reaction, which Paul IV. and Pius V. afterwards 
so successfully promoted, as not only to check the rapid 
progress of Protestantism, but to regain a portion of the 
lost ground. Seconding the zeal of the old monastic 
orders, which had been revived in the Theatines,*^ he, in 
1540, recruited to it the cold clear-sighted cunning of the 
Jesuits. Two years afterwards he re-established the 
Inquisition,*^ and in 1545 opened the Council of Trent, 
whose sittings were not finally closed until eighteen years 
later, when it had completed that bulwark which still 
constitutes a stronghold of the Roman church. Extirpa- 
tion of heresy henceforward became the pervading prin- 
ciple of the papacy, and the engrossing dogma of its 
zealots ; the object for which councils deliberated, pontiffs 
admonished, legates intrigued. For an end so sanctified 
no means were accounted base. When argument failed 
threats were at hand. From reason an appeal lay to the 
rack. Thus was the wavering power of the Keys restored 
or confirmed over much of Europe, and an alliance was 
effected between political and spiritual despotism for their 
mutual maintenance and common defence. The success 
which crowned these new efforts far exceeded any that 
mere mundane aims had ever attained. The re-influx of 
Catholicism was in some instances more signal, as it was 

*^ The Theatines were a congregation of Clerks Regular, founded byGaetano 
Tiene, a Venetian nobleman, in 1524. They are under the rule of S. Augustin. 
S. Gaetano Tiene died in 1547. In 1526 Matteo di Basso of Urbino founded 
a reform of Franciscan Observants, giving his followers a long-pointed hood, 
which he believed to be of the same shape as that worn by S. Francis. These 
friars became known as Cappuccini or Capuchins. At first they were merely 
a company of hermits devoted to the contemplative life. They remained, in 
fact, under the Observants till 1617. They are now a separate order governed 
by a general. They live in absolute poverty. 

•' The Inquisition was revived by a Bull of Sixtus IV. in 1478. Two 
years later it was reinstated in Spain by the Catholic kings. In 1526 it was 
established in Portugal; but it was only introduced into Italy in 1546, at 
Naples, and came into Central Italy only with many restrictions. 


more inexplicable, than had been the recent spread of the 
Reformation.*^ Although fatal to freedom of thought, 
its influence proved highly favourable to morals. The 
revival of religion was attended with a happy reformation 
of manners, after examples emanating from high places. 
The sins, or at least the scenes, that had disgraced the 
Borgian and Medicean courts no longer met the eye, but 
were replaced by a semblance of ascetic virtue. The new 
religious orders, being of more rigid rule, tended by pre- 
cept and example to restore discipline, and to purify, at 
least externally, the cup and the platter. Prelatic luxury 
was curtailed, brazen vice retired from public view, and 
the free exercise of papal nepotism was finally restrained 
by Pius v., who, in 1567, prohibited the alienation by his 
successors of church property or jurisdictions. But in 
these themes our narrative has no part. The battles of 
orthodoxy were chiefly fought beyond the Alps ; the 
reformed morality of the papal court was exampled in its 
own capital : in neither had Urbino any near interest. 

Guidobaldo's condotta from the Signory being renewed 
in 1546 upon more favourable terms (namely, 15,000 scudi 
of pay for his company, and 5000 of piatto for himself), 
he was invested about midsummer, by an imposing cere- 
monial pompously described in the letter of an eye- 
witness among the archives of Urbino. His jewelled cap 
and diamond collar are mentioned as superb, and his 
sword is valued at 700 scudi. After high mass in St. 
Mark's, the great standard being unfurled and supported 
by three bearers, and the baton of wrought silver placed 
in his hands, the Doge thus addressed him : " Lord Duke, 
we presented to your Excellency this standard of our 
St. Mark the Evangelist, in the wonted form, and in token 
of supremacy ; and we pray the Lord our God that it 
tend to the weal and service of all Christendom, but 

*^ It might seem that those parts of Europe securely within the Roman 
Empire of antiquity eventually remained Catholic. 

III.— H 

98 MEMOIRS OF THE [i547 

especially to the defence of this state. We give it to 
your Excellency, confiding in your loyalty and prudence, 
well assured that you will use it with courage and faith 
conformable to your deserts. And we hand to your Ex- 
cellency the baton, therewith designing you head and 
governor of our forces, and transferring to you the obedi- 
ence of all our military : it is our will that you be obeyed, 
honoured, and respected by our several condottieri and 
soldiery, as representing our Signory itself May it please 
the Divine Majesty that all be well ordered, to the well- 
being and furtherance of the Christian community, and of 
this our serene Republic." The Duke replied, " I most 
willingly accept, most Serene Prince, the distinction 
granted me by your Serenity, and with the sure hope of 
maintaining the good opinion you repose in me, which 
shall be nowise disappointed. I shall ever pray our Lord 
God graciously to vouchsafe me an early occasion of 
honourably serving your serene government, that I may 
thereby prove my good will. And I feel sure that your 
Serenity will have cause to be well satisfied at giving me 
this rank, which, without reserve of life or fortune, like 
one aware of his obligation to your Serenity, it will be my 
care so to hold as to augment my claims upon your 
favour." The function being over, the Duke was escorted 
by an imposing military pageant to his palace, where a 
splendid banquet was set out, of which, however, the 
jealous regulations of the Republic did not permit her 
officials to partake. 

The court having gone to spend Christmas of 1547 in 
the mild climate of Fossombrone, the Duke, in January, 
1548, again repaired to Venice, intending to return home 
for carnival. On the frontier he was met by news of his 
consort's serious illness, and immediately sent expresses 
to summon from Padua and Ferrara, Frigimiliza and 
Brasavolo, two famous physicians. Under them and her 
own doctors, the Duchess rallied for a time, but died on 


the 17th of February, — " a very religious, charitable, and 
lettered lady, and a great loss to the state." Her body 
was borne by torchlight to Urbino with the usual solem- 
nities, and, after lying in state, was entombed in Santa 
Chiara on the 19th. The funeral service was performed 
at Urbino the 24th of March, with due pomp, and a 
ceremonial preserved by Tondini. The procession con- 
sisted of the Duchess's household, twenty-two in number, 
with thirty-nine of the Duke's; Guidobaldo and his 
brother ; the ambassadors of five friendly states ; twenty- 
two principal nobility of the duchy ; forty captains ; the 
municipality of Urbino, with seventy leading citizens ; 
deputies from thirty-six other towns ; in all, about three 
hundred and sixty persons. The obsequies were cele- 
brated in the cathedral, which was illuminated by a 
hundred and eighty-six wax lights of four pounds each, 
and above two hundred torches. The funeral oration was 
pronounced by Sperone Speroni, and is published among 
his works. 

Although, in somewhat startling contrast to these 
details of death, we here introduce a letter written by 
the Duchess, which may interest our lady readers. It is 
addressed to Marchetti, her steward of the household, 
then at Venice, and is printed in his life by Tondini : — 

" Master Steward, our well-beloved, 

" This is to inform you that, on your return with his 
Excellency, our Lord and Consort, you must by all 
means bring as much of the finest and most beautiful 
scarlet serge, such as is made on purpose for the cardinals, 
as may suffice to make us a petticoat, taking care that it 
be at once handsome, good, and distingue. You can as- 
certain the necessary quantity. Here they tell us that if 
the stuff be two braccie [a yard and a quarter] wide, at 
least eight braccie will be required, and more if narrower, 
say nine or ten. See that you get full measure, and let 

loo MEMOIRS OF THE [1548 

the quantity be ample rather than deficient, so that we 
may not have to mar it for want of cloth. And if you 
cannot find such serge, bring some beautiful, good, and 
thin Venice cloth, being careful that it be light in texture, 
and that the colour be of the most bright and lively scarlet 
that can be found. Use all diligence that we be well 
suited and satisfied, if you would do us a grateful service. 
Bring also some of those books and rosettes, as they are 
called, which are commonly made there of thin white wax 
tapers ; and so good health to you. From Fossombrone, 
the 6th of October, 1541. 

"Julia Duchess of Urbino." 

The Duchess had given birth to a son in 1 544, but was 
survived only by a daughter Virginia : her marriage had 
been interested, and her lord lost no time in contracting 
another from similar motives, on the excuse of requiring 
a male heir. In August he went to kiss the Pope's feet at 
Rome, on occasion of negotiating a new matrimonial 
alliance with his grand-daughter, Vittoria Farnese. On 
the 30th he returned home, and next month again met 
his Holiness at Perugia. The nuptials were interrupted 
by the assassination of the bride's father, Duke Pier-Luigi, 
whose son had supplanted Guidobaldo at Camerino, and 
whose tyranny in his new state of Parma sharpened the 
daggers of his outraged nobles. The ceremony, however, 
took place on the 30th of January, 1548, when Vittoria, 
who had been previously affianced to Duke Cosimo I., 
was twenty-eight years of age. On the 2nd of February 
she visited Urbino, amid many demonstrations of respect, 
among which was a muster of forty lads in her livery of 
yellow velvet, to each of whom an allowance of seven 
scudi had been voted by the city ; but it was the Duke's 
pleasure that they should pay for their own dress. Art, 
too, had contributed its honours, and Vasari narrates how 
Battista Franco aided in decorating the triumphal arches 

1549] DUKES OF URBINO loi 

designed by Girolamo Genga for her reception. Similar 
welcome was given her at Gubbio, where the youths wore 
purple velvet with white sleeves and white lilies.*^ Coin- 
cident with, and in consequence of, this marriage, the 
Duke received from Paul a new investiture of his states, 
and a cardinal's hat, with the title of S. Pietro in Vinculis, 
for his brother Giulio, who, though but in his fifteenth 
year, was soon after named Legate of Perugia. On the 
20th of February, 1549, there was born a prince, who 
succeeded to the dukedom as Francesco Maria II., and 
the grateful people manifested their loyalty by customary 
congratulations and donatives.^ These happy events were, 
ere long, interrupted by the death of Paul III. on the 
loth of November, followed by that of the dowager 
Duchess of Urbino, on the 14th of February, thereafter. 

The little state of San Marino forms a solecism in the 
polity of Europe, having preserved its petty limits and its 
purely popular government during many centuries, whilst 
all the other republics of Italy successfully yielded to 
personal ambition or foreign conquest.*^ For its indepen- 
dence during the ceaseless changes of the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries it was debtor to the Dukes of Urbino, 
whose aid was ever at hand when their name proved an 
inadequate safeguard. The nature of the protection 
which they accorded to that republic is shown in the sub- 
joined document, which seems worthy of insertion from 
its resemblance to those letters of maintenance usually 
granted about the same period by the greater barons 
of Scotland, in favour of less powerful neighbours and 
friends, among the minor nobility, and even the burgh 

*^ Cf. Pellegrini, Gubbio sotio i Conti e Duchi d^ Urbino in Bolletino 
per rUinbria (Perugia, 1905), vol. XL, p. 236 et seq. 

^ Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 934, is an elaborate exposition of the devices and 
mottoes displayed on this august occasion. 

*^ Cf. Fattori, Delle cause die hantfo conservata la Repubbliia di S, 
Marino (Bologna, 1887). 


" Protection under which, at the instance of the Liberty 
of S. Marino, pressed by its envoys, the Lord Duke 
Guidobaldo IL assumes the aforesaid Liberty, its men 
and territory, following therein in this the course adopted 
by Duke Federico, Guido I., Francesco Maria his father, 
and others of his house : promising to the best of his 
ability, and at all times, to defend, protect, and guard it 
against all persons whatsoever who may seek or wish to 
injure it, whether in respect to its possessions, subjects, 
state, or pre-eminence, holding its enemies for his enemies, 
and its allies for his allies ; and further, undertaking to 
accord to it all possible aid and favour in the maintenance 
of its independence and freedom : the said envoys, on the 
other part, obliging themselves to the Lord Duke, in name 
of the foresaid, with all their exertion and power to assist, 
uphold, and preserve the subjects, state, honours, and 
dignity of the said Lord Duke, against whatsoever person, 
state, or potentate who may make attempts against him ; 
promising to hold the friends of his Excellency as their 
friends, and his foes as their foes, and to pay him at all 
times the respect due to a faithful and good protector. 
At the requisition of Ser Bartolo Nursino, 20th May, 1549." 

It was Guidobaldo's policy to maintain with the Holy 
See those amicable relations which his second marriage 
had established, and he had accordingly, on the death of 
Paul III., sent some troops to Perugia, in order to secure 
the quiet succession of Julius III. This being effected, he 
went to Rome on a visit of congratulation to the new 
Pontiff, accompanied by Aretino, whose venal appetites 
were ever on the watch for opportunities of bringing his 
sycophancy to a good market. The Pope disappointed 
him of the anticipated guerdon, but, aware of the ready 
transition from adulation to slander, disarmed his tongue 
of its venom by a gracious accolade, kissing the forehead 
of this " scourge of princes." The first token of favour 
bestowed on the Duke by his Holiness was his nomination 


as governor of Fano in 1551. In the following year he 
spent some time at Verona with the Venetian army, ac- 
companied by his boy, who there had an illness which 
occasioned him much anxiety. This command was a 
somewhat anomalous one, with the title of Governor of 
the Republican forces, which he vainly negotiated to 
exchange for that of General. Disgusted by this refusal, 
he listened to an overture from his brothers-in-law for 
transferring his services to the French King. Ottavio 
Farnese, now Duke of Parma, apprehending some hostile 
intentions from the imperialists, had applied, in 155 1, to 
the Pope for succours, in order to guarantee his possession 
of that state ; but, unable to spare reinforcements or 
money, Julius had recommended him to take his own 
measures for defence. Acting on this advice, he had 
recourse to Henry II., from whom he accepted a condotta, 
on condition of Parma being supplied with a French 
garrison. Such a step could not fail to alarm the Emperor, 
who, representing that Ottavio had, in fact, made over his 
duchy to France, brought upon him the thunders of the 
Vatican. The inducement offered to Guidobaldo by the 
Farnesi for following them into Henry's service was that 
the King should renounce the supposed claims upon 
Urbino competent to his wife Caterina de' Medici, in 
right of her father Lorenzo, its usurping Duke. But the 
decided measures adopted by the Pontiff cut short this 
negotiation, and we hear no more of pretensions which 
were doubtless vamped up to serve a temporary purpose. 
Although the Pontiff was nominally a party to the petty 
war which ensued in Lombardy, it was, in fact, but a 
chapter in the prolonged struggle between the houses of 
Hapsburg and Bourbon, with which our narrative has no 
concern. Another episode in the same contest was more 
alarming to Central Italy, and, when Tuscany became 
involved in the strife, it seemed well for Julius to stand on 
the defensive. Accordingly, in January, 1553, he named 


Guidobaldo captain-general of the Church, who, in April, 
proceeded to Rome for his installation ; and accompanied 
by a brilliant staff, reviewed the pontifical troops. 

Siena, originally Ghibelline, had, during the recurring 
convulsions of a nominally democratic government, 
remained in some measure devoted to the imperialist 
party. But, irritated by the licence of their Spanish 
garrison, and alarmed at a rumoured intention of Charles 
V. to seize their state, and exchange it with the Farnesi 
for that of Parma, the citizens, in 1552, foolishly listened 
to the intrigues of French emissaries, and, with the Count 
of Pitigliano's aid, ousted their oppressors. In the cam- 
paign which followed, Siena was under French protection, 
whilst Florence efficiently co-operated with the imperialists 
against her, the Pope maintaining an armed neutrality. 
The duties of Guidobaldo were thus limited to an occupa- 
tion of Bologna, in order to protect the ecclesiastical 
territories and his own state, on the passage of French 
troops into Tuscany. That his wishes favoured the inde- 
pendence of Siena appears from his having, at the election 
of Marcellus II., in April, 1554, recommended an interven- 
tion in its favour ; but it was too late, as the city had 
already capitulated, and was soon after finally annexed 
to Florence. 

The successor of Julius III., who died in march, 1555, 
was Marcello Cervini, Bishop of Gubbio ; and the Duke 
of Urbino congratulated himself on seeing a personal 
friend mount the throne of St. Peter. But his satisfaction 
was transient. Popular superstition awarded an early 
death to any Pontiff who should take for title his Christian 
name : the fate of Adrian VI. had verified the omen ; and, 
after a reign of but three weeks, Marcellus was carried to 
the tomb. Guidobaldo immediately took armed possession 
of the Roman gates for protection of the conclave ; but 
the election of Cardinal Caraffa as Paul IV. passed off 
satisfactorily, and his energy was rewarded by a confirm,a- 

1555] DUKES OF URBINO 105 

tion in his command, and the restoration of the Prefecture 
of Rome, with reversion to his son, an honour which, 
though long held by his father and grandfather, had been 
enjoyed for the last seventeen years by the Farnesi. 


The Duke's domestic affairs — Policy of Paul IV. — The Duke enters the 
Spanish service — Rebellion at Urbino severely repressed — His death and 
character — His children. 

THIS somewhat barren portion of our narrative 
may be appropriately enlivened by the marriage 
of Princess Elisabetta, sister of Guidobaldo, to 
Alberico Cibo, Prince of Massa. The bride 
left Urbino on the 26th of September, accompanied by the 
Duke and Duchess, and remained at Castel Durante for 
two days. She was convoyed for some miles farther by 
the court, and parted from her family with copious tears on 
both sides. That night she slept at S. Angelo, and next 
day reached Citta di Castello, escorted by an immense 
train of the principal residents to the Vitelli Palace. 
There she was entertained at an almost regal banquet, 
with about fifty gentle dames, each more beautiful than 
the other, and all richly dressed ; after which there 
followed dancing, to the music of many rare instruments 
and choruses, till near day-break. Travelling in a litter 
by easy journeys, she reached Florence in four days, and 
was welcomed with magnificent public honours. She 
entered the city in a rich dress of green velvet, radiant 
with jewels, and passed two days there, the guest of 
Chiappino Vitelli, who spent 2000 scudi upon four enter- 
tainments in her honour, including a ball and masquerade. 
On going to court, she was received by the Grand Duke 
and Duchess as a sister, with much kindness, and a world 
of professions. Near Pisa she was met by her bridegroom, 



at the head of a cavalcade which resembled an army 
marching to the assault of the city ; and his mother, though 
almost dying, had herself carried to the bed in which the 
bride had sought repose, to embrace her with maternal 
affection. More acceptable, perhaps, than this singular 
visit, was the present received from her in the morning, 
of two immense pearls, and a golden belt studded with 
costly jewels. The pair entered the capital next day, amid 
a crash of artillery, martial music, and bells, preceded by 
fifty youths in yellow velvet and white plumes. The 
festive arches delighted the narrator, but still more the 
palace furniture, " where nothing was seen but armchairs 
brocaded in silk and gold, and one everywhere stepped on 
the finest carpets." The community offered six immense 
vases, and a donative of bullocks, fowls, and wax. " But 
all this is nothing to the excessive affection which the 
Lord Marquis bears to his most illustrious consort : he 
does not merely love her, he adores her. May God con- 
tinue it, and maintain them in happiness."^ This kind 
wish had scanty fulfilment, for the Princess died nine 
years later, her husband surviving to the patriarchal age 
of ninety-six. 

In 1556, Guidobaldo finished the citadel and fortifications 
of Sinigaglia, which had occupied him during ten years, 
and which were considered an important bulwark against 
Turkish descents on the Adriatic coast. There also 
he instituted a college for the study of gunnery ; and 
he commemorated the completion of these establish- 
ments by striking four medals, of which three are de- 
scribed by Riposati ; none of them, however, merit special 
notice, the beauty of Italian dies being already on the 
wane. The court was now for the most part resident at 
Pesaro, a situation excelling in amenity and convenience 
the original capital of the duchy. Among its attractions 
may be numbered the palace-villa of Imperiale, which has 

^ TON'DINI, MeiHorie di Fratueschino Matxheiti, App. , p. i6. 

io8 MEMOIRS OF THE [1552-6 

been described ; but it became necessary to provide a town 
residence, that in the citadel, which had sufficed for the 
Sforza, being far too restricted for the demands of growing 
luxury. Of the palace at Pesaro, Guidobaldo II. may be 
considered the entire author,*^ and if it seem scarcely suited 
for the accommodation of so famed a court, we must 
recollect that the golden days of this principality were 
already passing away, that the military qualities of its 
sovereigns and people had become less gainful, and the 
devotion of its dukes to letters and arts was beginning to 
languish. Although extensive, the aspect of this resi- 
dence is mean, its buildings rambling. It exhibits no 
appearance of a public edifice except the spacious loggia 
or arcade. Over this, its single external feature, is the 
great hall, measuring 134 by 54 feet, and of well-propor- 
tioned height. Here we find some interesting traces of 
the della Rovere, in those quaint and significant family 
devices which it was their pride unceasingly to repeat. 
The manifold compartments of its richly stuccoed ceiling 
contain their heraldic badge, the oak-tree ; the ermine of 
Naples ; the half-inclined palm-tree ; the ineta, or goal of 
merit, and similar fancies.^ These recur among delicately 
sculptured arabesques on the internal lintels, and orna- 
ment the imposing chimney-pieces, varied by figures of 
Fame strewing oak-leaves and acorns. This palace was 
later the winter residence of the cardinal legates of Urbino 
and Pesaro, of whom portraits, from the Devolution of the 
duchy to the Holy See, in 1626, surround the great hall. 
In 1845, Cardinal della Genga was the forty-eighth of this 
long succession. 

Paul IV. was seventy-nine years of age when he assumed 

*^ It was probably the work of Girolamo Genga (1476-1551) and his son 
Bartolomeo (1518-58). It is now the Prefettura. It has never struck me 
as " mean," but rather as being a somewhat imposing building. 

'^ See these devices explained in No. V. of the Appendix to Vol. I. The 
respective importance of the ducal residences is marked by their colloquial 
epithets, — the corte at Urbino, ^& palazzo at Pesaro, tbe casa at Gubbio. 


the triple tiara. His life had been one long exercise of 
holy zeal and ascetic observance, and the Romans, again 
sunk in those habits of luxury and indulgence from which 
Bourbon's army had roused them, saw with little satisfac- 
tion the accession of one so intolerant. But they were ill- 
prepared for a turbulence unparalleled during many years. 
His policy leaned to the once favourite, but long dormant, 
idea of expelling the Spaniards from Lower Italy ; while, 
to the astonishment of mankind, the almost abandoned 
pretensions of nepotism were revived with unflinching 
fierceness by this octogenarian founder of the strictly de- 
votional order of Theatins. A trumpery outrage on the 
French flag by the Sforza of Santa-fiore,* ^ in which the 
Colonna were alleged to have participated or sympathised, 
supplied a pretext for putting the latter to the ban ; and 
their vast possessions, which in the ecclesiastical states 
alone numbered above a hundred separate holdings, were 
conferred upon the Pope's nephew, Giovanni Caraffa, Count 
of Montorio, The Colonna flew to arms, and, being under 
the avowed protection of Spain, were supported by troops 
from Naples, against whom the Duke of Urbino was 
ordered to march ; but fortunately the ashes of civil 
broils were nearly cold, and peace would have continued 
undisturbed, had not Paul, in the following year, issued his 
monitory against Philip II. Although the Spanish inter- 
vention in behalf of the Colonna formed an ostensible 
ground for this aggression, its true motives are traced by 
Panvinio to more remote and personal considerations, 
dating from the viceroyalty of Lautrec, by whom the 
Caraffa, always adherents of France, had been harshly 
treated. Reverting to the papal policy of half a century 
before, Paul sought to avenge this quarrel through French 
instrumentality, and although a pacification of unusual 

*^ For all that concerns Santa Fiora and the Sforza-Cesarini, see a forth- 
coming work by Edward Hutton, with notes by William Heywood, 
entitled In Unknown Tuscany (Methuen). It deals with the whole history 
of Mont' Amiata and its castles and villages. 


solemnity had been concluded in February of this year 
between Charles V. and Henry H., preparatory to the for- 
mer retiring from the cares of sovereignty, he contrived, by 
successful intrigues, to bring the two great European 
powers once more into hostility, and to revive in the 
Bourbon King those ambitious projects which had for- 
merly brought his predecessors across the Alps for the 
conquest of Naples. 

Anticipating this threatened danger, the Duke of Alva 
marched an army of fourteen thousand men into the 
Comarca, which he overran in September, occupying Tivoli 
on the one hand, and Ostia on the other, whilst Marc- 
Antonio Colonna scoured the Campagna, to the gates of 
Rome. Guidobaldo, who appears to have been about this 
time superseded, and his truncheon of command trans- 
ferred to the Pontiff's favourite nephew, contented himself 
with sending a contingent of two thousand troops, under 
Aurelio Fregoso, for his Holiness's support. The efforts 
made on all sides to conclude a harassing and useless war, 
were rendered unavailing by the Pope's obstinacy and 
ambition ; the only terms he would agree to including an 
investiture of his nephew as sovereign of Siena, in com- 
pensation for the Colonna estates. 

During the winter months, a horde of northern bar- 
barians were once more mustered to invade unhappy 
Italy. Fourteen thousand Gascons, Grisons, and Ger- 
mans, under command of the Due de Guise, marched 
early in the spring upon Romagna, which, though a friendly 
country, they cruelly ravaged. Faenza having escaped 
their brutality by denying them entrance, its citizens testi- 
fied their gratitude for the exemption, by instituting an 
annual triduan thanksgiving, and dotation of two of their 
daughters. The Duke of Urbino did his best to secure 
his people during the transit of this army, which crossed 
the Tronto in April. It would be tedious to follow the 
fortunes of a campaign in which he took no part, and 


which, whoever gained, was the scourge of Italy. On the 
26th of August, the Due de Guise placed his scaling 
ladders against the San Sebastiano gate, and Rome had 
nearly been carried by a coup-de-main. At length the 
representations of Venice and Florence, which had 
remained neutral, prevailed with his Holiness, and, on the 
14th of September, peace was restored, leaving matters 
much on their former footing. Riposati assures us that 
during this war the French monarch would gladly have 
secured the services of Guidobaldo, now free from his 
engagements to the Pontiff, but that Duke Cosimo of 
Florence interested himself to procure for him an engage- 
ment from Spain. This was at length arranged, in the 
spring of 1558, previously to which Charles V. appears to 
have bestowed on him the Golden Fleece, the highest 
compliment at his disposal.^ 

The terms upon which the Duke took service under 
Philip II. are thus stated in a letter of Bernardo Tasso. 
The King guaranteed him protection for his territories 
against all hazards, and bound himself to supply and 
maintain for him a body-guard of at least two hundred 
infantry, besides a company of a hundred men-at-arms, 
and another of two hundred light horse. He further 
engaged to pay him monthly 1000 golden scudi for his 
appointments as captain-general, besides maintaining for 
him four colonels and twenty captains. In return, the 
Duke took an oath to serve his Majesty faithfully against 
all potentates, the pontiffs alone excepted. The political 
results of this arrangement were strongly and painfully 
felt by Bernardo, who regarded it as establishing the tran- 
quillity of Naples, the security of Tuscany, and, in a word, 
the Spanish domination in Italy. Inclined to the French 
interests (for there was no longer an Italian party in exist- 

^ Some authorities represent him as receiving this Order eleven years later 
from Charles V. , but that Emperor died in this very year. He is said to have 
had knighthood from the Pope in 1561. 

112 MEMOIRS OF THE [1565 

ence), he would have gladly seen the sovereign of a high- 
land population, whose warlike sinews were not yet quite 
relaxed, preserve his neutrality, or rather, like his father, 
attach himself to the republic of Venice, which still pos- 
sessed much external power and internal independence. 
Indeed, he laments the short-sighted policy of the Signory, 
in omitting this opportunity of securing, as an available 
check upon Spanish influence, an able confederate, and 
corn-growing neighbour ; a blunder which was the more 
unaccountable, as, in the opinion of Mocenigo, who was 
Venetian envoy at Urbino many years later, the prepos- 
sessions of Guidobaldo were even then in favour of a con- 
nection which had hereditary claims upon his preference. 
On the first days of May the convention was published at 
Pesaro, after solemn thanksgiving to the Almighty for a 
dispensation so acceptable to the Duke.^ The importance 
to Spain of this condotta may be understood from a fact 
mentioned by Riposati, that Gubbio alone sent forth, 
between 1530 and 1570, three captains-general, two lieu- 
tenants-general, six colonels, and sixty-five captains of 
note. Mocenigo says, there were in 1570 twelve thousand 
soldiers in the duchy, ready at call. 

Our notices of Guidobaldo become ever more barren. 
In 1565 the armament of Sultan Solyman against Malta 
spread consternation throughout Western Europe, and, by 
desire of Philip II., the Duke of Urbino sent four or five 
thousand troops to aid in the defence of the knights. 
Prince Francesco Maria asked leave to accompany the 
expedition, but his father, considering his time better be- 
stowed in visiting courts, sent him in this year to Madrid, 
with commission to recover a long arrear of his own mili- 
tary allowances. In this he was successful, but the sum 

^ From an account of this engagement preserved among the Oliveriana 
MSS., and slightly differing from that by Bernardo Tasso (II., letter i66), we 
learn that the pay of officers was from 15 to 40 scudi a month, that of cavalry 
privates 5, and of infantry 3 scudi. It appears to have been worth to Guido- 
baldo in all about 35,000 scudi a-year, but to have been irregularly received. 

1570] DUKES OF URBINO 113 

scarcely sufficed to clear the expenses of his journey. Par- 
ticulars of this visit, and of his marriage in 1571, will be 
told from his own pen in next chapter. But there was no 
lukewarmness on his father's part on the question of the 
Cross against the Crescent. After the Prince returned from 
the naval action off Lepanto, which will also be narrated 
from his Autobiography, Guidobaldo prepared a Discourse 
on the propriety of a general war against the Turks, the 
means of conducting the proposed campaign with due re- 
gard to the security of Italy, the preparation of adequate 
munitions, and the best plan for carrying the seat of war 
into the enemy's country. It is unnecessary to dwell upon 
a matter now so completely gone by : the paper emanates 
from a mind capable of enlarged views, and fully conversant 
with the belligerent resources and general policy of his age, 
as well as experienced in military operations.^ 

The Relazioni of the Venetian envoys supply us with 
some notices of Urbino about this time, and prove that the 
Duke's expenses were very great, partly from frequent 
calls upon his hospitality by visitors of distinction, but still 
more from his maintaining separate and costly establish- 
ments for himself, the Duchess, the Prince, and the Prin- 
cess.2 Mocenigo estimates his income from imposts, mono- 
polies, and allodial domains, at 100,000 scudi ; adding that, 
" should he think proper to burden his people, this sum 
might unquestionably be greatly augmented, but, choosing 
to follow the custom of his predecessors, in making it his 
chief object to preserve the affection of his subjects, he is 
content to leave matters as they are, and live in straits for 
money." ^ He also tells us that, though poor in revenues, 

^ Vat. Ottob. MSS. No. 2510, f. 201. 

^ That of Mocenigo, 1570, is printed by Vieussieux, second series, vol. 
II., p. 97, and in the Tesoro Politico, II., 169; that of Zen or Zane, 1574, 
in the same volume of Vieussieux, p. 315, 

' Of several statements as to the ducal revenue and expenditure which 
I have seen, none is distinct or satisfactory. The most detailed is in a 
MS. in the public library at Siena, K. III., No. 5S, p. 240, but the sums 
have been inextricably blundered by the transcriber. See Appendix VIII. 

III. — I 

114 MEMOIRS OF THE [1572 

he was master of his people's affections, who on an exigency 
would place life and substance at his disposal. The ac- 
curacy of these impressions is in some degree impugned by 
what we are now about to relate. 

The most remarkable incident in Guidobaldo's reign was 
an outbreak of the citizens of Urbino, dignified in its 
municipal history by the name of a rebellion, which acquires 
a factitious importance as the only symptom of discontent 
that troubled the peace of the duchy, from the death of 
Oddantonio in 1443, to the extinction of its independ- 
ence in 163 1. We shall condense its incidents from the 
contemporary narrative of Gian-Francesco Cartolari, who 
designated himself agent of the Duke, and who, notwith- 
standing his official position, writes with apparent frank- 
ness and impartiality.^ 

In August, 1572, the Duke intimated to the council of 
Urbino that he had received authority from Gregory XIII. 
to impose a tax of one quatrino per lb. on butchers' meat, 
and of two bolognini upon every staro of grain and soma 
of wine; 2 and in October he made proclamation through- 
out the duchy of these new imposts. It being rumoured 
that the envoys of Gubbio had obtained for that com- 
munity a suspension of the obnoxious duties, discontent 
began to prevail, and on the 26th December one Zibetto, 
a cobbler, in an inflammatory harangue, at a public 
assembly dignified with the name of general council, 
declared that these were exactions under which the poor 
could not exist.*^ On his proposal, forty delegates were 

^ Vat. Ottob. MSS. No. 3142, f. 165, and Oliveriana MSS. No. 390, 
p. 63. 

'^ The staro or stajo corresponded to a bushel ; the amount of a soma is 
doubtful. A quatrino is \ of a bajoccho, that is, of a halfpenny in present 
value. A bolognino was about 7j farthings. See vol. II., p. 259. 

*^ In 1562 Guidobaldo had augmented the tax on grain by leave of 
Pius IV. Cf. Ugolini, op cit., vol. II., p. 28, and Pellegrini, Gubbio 
sotto i Conti e Duchi d Urbino in Boll, per l' Unibria, vol. XL, p. 239 ct seg., 
and esp. Celli, Tasse e Rivolhtzione (Torino, 1892), p. 39. 

1573] DUKES OF URBINO 115 

chosen from the nobility, and sworn to represent the 
matter to the Duke in person. They repaired to Pesaro, 
and, on the 29th, had an audience to present the memorial 
agreed to by the council, which Guidobaldo received, and 
desired them to go home, promising that an answer would 
be transmitted when he had considered their statement. 
They, however, stayed a week, vainly looking for his 
reply, during which the council met daily at Urbino, and 
at length they were recalled by an express from the 
Gonfaloniere. Meanwhile a vice -duke had been sent 
thither, who, on the ist of January, 1573, published a 
suspension of the new imposts throughout the whole 
state. This concession, however, did not satisfy the dis- 
contented, who, in another general council, accredited two 
envoys to Prince Francesco Maria, begging his intervention 
to procure an answer to their memorial. Having failed in 
this object, and finding that troops were being secretly 
organised to garrison their city, the people of Urbino 
rushed to arms, closed the gates, and, having mustered 
above a thousand men, began to strengthen the defences 
and lay in stores. The Vice-Duke being thereupon re- 
called, the general council assembled daily in such num- 
bers, that adjournments to one of the largest churches 
were found necessary, and the inhabitants, setting aside 
private rivalries, co-operated with one mind for the public 
safety, mounting guard, and making every exertion to 
render their city tenable. The impossibility of doing so 
against the Duke's military levies being however quickly 
apparent even to the insurgents, an embassy of six was 
despatched to Rome to beseech the Pope's mediation. 
Nor did the reaction stop there ; a general cry rose for the 
Prince, or his brother the Cardinal, the opportune arrival 
of either of whom would have ended the emeute. On the 
29th, however, the Duchess came with a small suite, and 
was received with cries of " Long life to the Duke, but 
death to the gabelle ! " The efforts of the magistracy and 

ii6 MEMOIRS OF THE [i573 

popular leaders to make their peace were unavailing, in 
consequence of their having sent representations to the 
Pontiff, and, on the 3rd of February, the Duchess de- 
parted without effecting any arrangement, to the infinite 
annoyance of all parties. The envoys could get no other 
reply from his Holiness but that they must go home and 
make submission, and they were followed by a brief from 
him, enjoining them to lay down arms and seek his 
Excellency's unconditional pardon. As soon as this had 
been publicly read by the Gonfaloniere, the people piled 
their arms in the piazza, and the peasantry dispersed to 
their country homes. 

Notwithstanding this surrender, Guidobaldo advanced 
upon the city, quartering his troops in the surrounding 
villages, so as to blockade it, and all the public function- 
aries were superseded. Dreading a sack, the citizens 
rushed to the monasteries with their valuables, and, about 
the middle of February, sent fifty of the nobles to crave 
pardon of their sovereign. After waiting at Pesaro for 
three days, these were admitted to tender submission on 
their knees, and were then placed under arrest at their inn 
for twenty days, notwithstanding incessant petitions from 
their fellow citizens for their release. Six of them were 
then committed to the castle, and from time to time other 
leaders were brought from Urbino to share their imprison- 
ment. So terrified were the insurgents by these measures, 
that those most compromised fled from the duchy, and 
but few remained in their houses ; a proclamation was 
therefore issued that all exiles should return home within 
two months, under penalties of rebellion. The property 
of the prisoners and exiles was confiscated ; the city 
was disarmed ; public assemblies were prohibited ; and 
the magistracy were discharged from their duties.^ Such 
rigorous measures having inspired a general panic, the 

^ The magistrates of Urbino were four in number, a gonfaloniere chosen 
from the city nobles, a prior to represent the merchants, and two priors of 
the trades. The general council seems to have been open to all citizens. 


imposts were again proclaimed at Easter, to include 
retrospectively the previous year. These severities were 
perhaps scarcely beyond the exigencies of the case ; at all 
events, they cannot be justly regarded as an extreme 
exercise of the despotic authority which the Duke un- 
doubtedly possessed ; but those which ensued must be 
viewed with abhorrence, alike from their own enormity, 
and from their prejudicial influence in confounding ven- 
geance with justice. 

A judge was brought from Ferrara to sit upon the 
prisoners, and on the ist of July nine of them were be- 
headed in the castle at midnight ; their bodies, after being 
flung out and exposed beyond the city, were huddled 
together into an unconsecrated pit, until some days later 
they were taken up by order of the Bishop of Pesaro, and 
received Christian burial. Nor was the indignation of 
their sovereign appeased by these revolting cruelties : 
others implicated were sent to the galleys or died of hard 
usage. A commission sat at Urbino for two months to 
realise the estates of those attainted, whose widows and 
children were deprived of their dowries, and in some in- 
stances their very houses were razed to the ground. The 
results were fatal to the whole community, for magisterial 
business was suspended, the schools were left without 
teachers, the town without medical practitioners, trade of 
every sort at a stand. At length, in December, permission 
was obtained to hold a general council, at which it was 
determined once more to send ambassadors to intercede 
for mercy. For this purpose about eighty of the principal 
nobility were selected to accompany the Gonfaloniere and 
priors to Pesaro, their cavalcade amounting to above a 
hundred persons on horseback. On the 27th of December, 
they were admitted to an audience in presence of the 
whole court, and the Gonfaloniere, after a very judicious 
speech, presented to his Excellency a petition couched in 
the following terms : — 

ii8 MEMOIRS OF THE [1573 

" Most illustrious and most excellent Lord Duke, our 
especial lord and master ! Inspired by a most ardent 
desire for your illustrious Excellency's favour and good will, 
and having ever felt the utmost grief and regret for the 
recent events, the city of Urbino, with entire devotion and 
alacrity, has resolved to send to your illustrious Excellency 
its magistrates, and the present numerous embassy, in order 
that with every possible humility, they in our name, and we 
likewise for ourselves, may supplicate you, with all rever- 
ence and submission, to accord us grace and pardon, 
entirely forgetting the provocations received, and, as our 
clement father and master, full of charity towards us, to 
deign willingly to comfort us, and receive us again, and 
restore us to your love and benign grace ; assuring your 
most illustrious Excellency, that this your city will never, 
in fidelity, love, and obedience towards your most illus- 
trious person and house, yield to any other in the world, 
and that it is, and ever will be, most prompt at all times 
and occasions to expose our lives, and those of our chil- 
dren, and our whole goods and possessions, in your service 
and honour ; so that, in the event of our receiving, as we 
desire and hope, forgiveness from your infinite bounty and 
magnanimity, we, the humblest and most faithful of your 
servants, thanking God with sincerely joyful hearts, may 
return, singing in chorus — ' Blessed be the Lord God of 
Israel, who hath visited and redeemed his people,' and may 
ever keep in remembrance this trusted day of grace, and 
render it a gladsome festival in all time to come." 

To this petition the Duke returned the following gracious 
answer : — " I hear with much good will and satisfaction 
the duty which you pay, the free pardon which you ask, 
and the penitence which you exhibit, all which induce me 
to confirm to you, as I now do most willingly, the forgive- 
ness I already have accorded : and the promise which you 
make, of being ever faithful and loyal to me, proves you 
ready to second your words with good purposes, as I 

1573] DUKES OF URBINO 119 

readily believe you will do. I also promise you from 
henceforward entirely to forget the past, and to receive 
you into my pristine affection ; and had it pleased God 
that the warnings and persuasions which you received 
from my lips had been taken by you at first, you would 
have been spared many evils, annoyances, and losses, and 
I much displeasure. Nevertheless, take courage, and, as 
I have already said, so long as you do your duty, you will 
find me as loving in time to come as I have ever been, all 
which you will report to your city." ^ 

This reply gave great satisfaction to the deputation, and 
after being suitably acknowledged by their head, all of 
them knelt to their Sovereign, the Duchess, and the 
Prince, kissing the hems of their garments in humble 
attitude. Next day they returned home, and summoned 
a general council, to which there was read a letter from 
Guidobaldo, reinstating the city in its former privileges, 
and removing the obnoxious imposts. Four deputies 
having been commissioned to thank his Highness for 
these demonstrations of returning favour, they were 
honourably received and entertained at Pesaro. The 
council next voted a peace-offering of 50,000 scudi to- 
wards paying the Duke's debts, which had been the 
primary root of the evil ; but, in consideration of their 
recent sufferings, he accepted of but 20,000, payable in 
seven years. Although there remained some symptoms 
of smouldering sedition, the Duke on the 14th of June 
suddenly started for Urbino, and was welcomed by a 
deputation, and such other marks of respect as the short 
notice would permit. During a residence of twelve days, 
he renounced 8000 scudi of the donative, and conceded 
several privileges to the community, whom he did not 
again visit during the brief residue of his life. 

The Urbino rebellion holds a place in the history of 
that state which neither its incidents nor its issue deserve. 

1 Vat. Ottob. MSS. No. 3141, ff. 160, 165, dated December 27, 1573. 


It originated in a sore of old standing, the Duke having 
for years comparatively deserted the ancient capital of his 
duchy, and transferred his residence to Pesaro. Influenced 
by this grudge, its citizens, instead of, like the other com- 
munities, resting satisfied with his remission of dues in 
January, 1573, kept up an agitation, and finally piqued 
their sovereign by carrying their grievances to the papal 
throne. On the whole, these transactions were in all re- 
spects most unfortunate, and it was long ere the duchy 
recovered from the heart-burnings they left behind. The 
Duke then forfeited the popularity of a lifetime, and his 
fame continues blackened by the scurrilous traditionary 
nickname of Guidobaldaccio, a usual diminutive express- 
ing contemptuous disparagement. Grossi says that, when 
too late, he regretted the harshness of his after measures ; 
and some doubt as to his good faith in regard to an 
amnesty is hinted in the following letter from his cousin- 
german Ludovico Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers and Rethel, 
which I found among the Oliveriana MSS. at Pesaro. 

" Most illustrious and most excellent Lord, 

"Your Excellency's letters of the 15th of June and 
9th of July reached me together, at the forest of Vin- 
cennes, only on the loth instant, along with another 
addressed by you to the most serene King of Poland, 
which I have not failed to deliver in person to his Majesty, 
with such expressions as seemed suitably to convey your 
Excellency good wishes. With these his Majesty was 
much satisfied and pleased, and he returns to your Ex- 
cellency many thanks. I have not as yet been able to 
obtain his answer, as he went off suddenly to Fontain- 
bleau, whither I now am on my way, and on my arrival 
shall get it sent you as soon as possible. 

" I have read the summary of the trials of these rebels, 
of whom your Excellency advises me you had nine be- 
headed, as to which matter I have been glad to be in- 

1573] DUKES OF URBINO 121 

formed, in order satisfactorily to answer those who occa- 
sionally speak of it ; and also being at all times glad to 
learn that your affairs go on well and to your content- 
ment. It is my conviction that you have acted most 
justly, and done everything for clear reasons ; yet, I do 
not omit telling you that some people are perplexed at 
these events, saying, that your Excellency having granted 
a general pardon to all the conspirators, they cannot see 
by what right you afterwards let justice take its course 
against them. This I mention purposely that you may be 
informed of everything. 

" It only remains to beseech that you will deign com- 
mand my willing services, in whatever respect you consider 
me useful, as this is my ardent wish ; and so I sincerely 
kiss your hands, praying God to grant you all happiness. 
From Paris, the last of September, 1573. Your Excel- 
lency's most devoted, and most obliged cousin, 


The account of these disturbances, given by the Prince 
in his Autobiography, is as follows : " His father having 
by great liberality and magnificence deranged his finances, 
found it necessary to augment his revenue, and his sub- 
jects, unused to such burdens, began to offer resistance. 
The Duke, not to let himself be thwarted in that way, 
prepared to use force ; but at last matters were restored 
to quiet, by their humbling themselves, and receiving his 
pardon, not without the punishment of some, as an 
example to the rest. At this juncture Francesco Maria 
contrived so to conduct himself, that his father had reason 
to be well satisfied with his services ; and the people 
had no cause to be discontented with him, his uniform 
endeavour having been, to the utmost of his power, to 
mollify the one and moderate the other, which was in the 
end effected." 

Of this dull reign little remains to be told. In the 


words of the same Memoir, — "Guidobaldo went to Ferrara 
in the autumn of 1574, to visit Henry HI. of France, who 
was on his way from Poland, on the death of his brother 
Charles IX. Returning to Pesaro during great heats, 
he fell ill, and passed to a better life on the 28th of 
September, aged sixty. On hearing of his illness, Fran- 
cesco Maria hastened to Pesaro from Castel Durante, 
where he generally stayed for the hunting season, and 
finding his father in great suffering, he attended him 
assiduously through the fatal malady. The funeral cere- 
monies were performed with much pomp, in presence of 
many deputies and ambassadors ; and Giacomo Mazzoni 
pronounced a long and elaborate oration, commending 
his clemency, liberality, bravery, prudence, and other 
princely virtues." We are told by a contemporary 
chronicler that his illness was a quartan, which became 
a putrid fever, but that he bore it with patient and pious 
resignation, supported by the aids of religion. His funeral 
took place in the church of Corpus Domini, at Pesaro, in 
conformity with his own wish, mindful perhaps, in his last 
moments, of his recent quarrel with Urbino, where the 
ashes of his ancestors were laid. 

The character of this Duke, drawn by the Venetian 
envoys, is quite as favourable as the few notices given us 
by Urbino writers. His habits were free and social, and 
his liberality to friends and favourites gave him a popu- 
larity at court which extended to his subjects and soldiery. 
In affairs of honour his judgment was often sought, and 
his decisions generally admitted. Though seldom in the 
field, he was considered an authority on military affairs, 
and, without rivalling the literary tastes of his son, he was 
a patron of letters, and especially of music* ^ The device 

*^ Cf. a letter from Angelo Colocci to the Duke, printed by MORICI, 
Due Unianisti Alarchigiani in Boll, per P Umbria, vol. II., p. 152; and for 
Music, Rossi, Appiinti per la Storia dclla Musica alia Corte di Francesco 
Maria I. e di Guidobaldo della Rovcre in Rassegna Einiliana (Modenii, li^SS), 
vol. I., fascicolo 8, and supra, p. 88, note *i, 

1574] DUKES OF URBINO 123 

which he selected was a goal or winning-post, with a 
Greek inscription, " To the most devoted lover of worth " ; 
and Ruscellai informs us that he acted up to the sentiment 
in encouraging merit. His hospitality is alluded to by 
Ariosto in Rinaldo's journey to Lapidusa, and Count Litta 
ascribes to him the institution of the Pacieri, an association 
of both sexes for the purpose of preventing litigation. It 
is true that his failings of character or temper were neither 
gilded by the military renown of his father, nor redeemed 
by the pious philosophy of his son ; but so far as the 
meagre materials within our reach have enabled us to 
judge, no great faults have been brought home to him 
either as a sovereign or as a man. Indeed, we are enabled 
to adduce one satisfactory instance wherein, under circum- 
stances peculiarly irritating to a person of impetuous 
disposition, his conduct was marked with great forbearance 
and gentleness. His favourite undertaking of fortifying 
Sinigaglia had been thwarted in 1556, from the obstinate 
refusal of money by a Jew, who, though sent to him for 
the purpose of effecting a loan, resisted his urgent per- 
suasions to conclude it.*^ After mentioning the circum- 
stance in a letter to his confidential favourite Marchetti, 
he thus continues : " We avoided all expressions which 
might seem to approve of his discourse, and so left him. 
However, to you we shall just say that if they won't lend, 
may they meet with the like.- We shall seek some other 
course, and obtain by other means what is required for the 
operations. You may, therefore, after doing your best for 
this purpose in Sinigaglia, proceed first towards La 
Pergola, and then to Fossombrone, but there is no 
occasion to employ in this matter threats or severe 
language. On the contrary, you are only to seek out the 
people, to exhort and civilly urge them to what is wanted, 

*^ Cf. Celli, Le fortifi.cazioiii militari di Urbiiw, Pesaro e Sinegalia 
(Castelpiano, 1896). 

^ " Tal sia di loro," a phrase which may perhaps only mean " be it so." 

124 MEMOIRS OF THE [i574 

but of their own free will, and by no other means ; and if 
they will not agree, you need not break out upon them, 
but let it stand over, that we may see what can be effected 
in some other way." 

In absence of any contemporary estimate of this Duke's 
character, we may cite one from the pen of a modern 
writer, himself a citizen of Urbino, and an enthusiastic 
student of its history. " Although possessing not the 
marvellous sagacity, the untainted justice, the quick 
intelligence in public affairs, nor the other brilliant and 
rare virtues of his ancestors and of his son, which have 
rendered their names great, their authority respected, their 
memory dear and popular ; he had good sense, military 
experience, and much fondness for all liberal acquirements. 
He protected and honoured the first geniuses of his time ; 
and his beneficent actions were splendid even beyond his 
means. Could one page be blotted from his life, too 
fatally memorable from its unjust and slippery policy, too 
detestable and disgraceful to his name ; and had his 
manners been more affable, his nature less impetuous and 
violent, his temper less overbearing, and his resolutions 
less inflexible ; the people of Urbino would probably have 
attempted no revolutionary movement, and he would have 
acquired much of the reputation left by his great-grand- 
father, and by his estimable son." ^ 

For the fine arts he seems to have cared little, and his 
memory has suffered in consequence of this neglect. 
Angelo Bronzino is said to have painted him during the 
life of his father, but the only original portrait I have ever 
found of him is a miniature in the Pitti Palace. Bernardo 
Tasso was the laureate of his court, and we shall mention, 
in chapter L., the friendly welcome extended to that 
fortune-stricken bard during part of his life-long struggle. 
Bernardo Capello and Pietro Aretino were among his 
guests ; and Ludovico Domenichini of Piacenza, having 

1 Padre Checcucci, Professor of Rhetoric in the University of Urbino, 1845. 

1574] DUKES OF URBINO 125 

dedicated to him an Italian translation of Plutarch's Lives, 
visited Urbino in 1555 to present the work to his patron. 
Guidobaldo left by his first wife one daughter, — 

Virginia, married in 1560 to Count Federigo Borro- 
meo, whose premature death is said to have frustrated 
a project of his uncle, Pius IV., for investing him 
with Camerino. She afterwards married Ferdinando 
Orsini, Duke of Gravina, and, dying in childbed, 
left to her father about 180,000 scudi. 
The children of his second marriage were, — 

1. Francesco Maria, his heir. 

2. Isabella, married in 1565 to Nicolo Bernardino di 
Sanseverino, Prince of Bisignano, a Neapolitan 
nobleman, with a fine fortune, but greatly en- 
cumbered. She was a princess of generous and 
attractive character, and died in 16 19 without sur- 
viving issue. 

3. Lavinia, said in the Venetian Relazione of Zane 
to have been betrothed to Giacomo Buoncompagno 
natural son of Gregory XIII., but the nuptials 
never took place. She afterwards married Alfonso 
Felice d' Avalos d' Aquino, Marquis of Guasto, 
son *^ of the famous Vittoria Colonna, and died in 
1632, aged seventy- four. 

(From similarity of name, this princess has been confused 
with her second cousin Lavinia Franciotti della Rovere, wife 
of Paolo Orsini, whose intimacy with Olympia Morata is 
well known to those who trace the quickly smothered seeds 
of Pi-otestantism in Italy.) 

Guidobaldo left also two natural daughters, — 

1. , married, first, to Count Antonio Landriano 

of Pesaro ; secondly, to Signer Pier-Antonio da 
Luna of Castella, in the Milanese. 

2. , married to Signor Guidobaldo Renier. 

*^ This is a mistake, Vittoria Colonna had no children. There was, 
however, a Marchese del Vasto, a cousin of her husband's, whom she adopted 
as her son, and to whom she frequently alluded in her poems ; one of her 
sonnets bewails his death. 




Autobiography of Duke Francesco Maria II. — His visit to the Spanish 
Court — His studious habits — His marriage — Is engaged in the naval 
action of Lepanto — Succeeds to the dukedom. 

IN following the history of his father, we have details 
of the early life of Francesco Maria. Upon these 
we now turn back, and shall avail ourselves to the 
utmost of the Memoirs he has left behind him, 
which, though brief and incomplete, afford a valuable 
illustration of his character, and an interesting addition to 
our few autobiographies of sovereigns. From the intro- 
ductory sentence, we learn the motives by which they 
were undertaken : — " As it is very usual for people to 
blame the actions of others, and especially the proceedings 
of those who have long directed the affairs of government, 
it has hence seemed to me right to narrate simply, truly, 
and briefly, the incidents that have occurred to Francesco 
Maria, second of that name and sixth Duke of Urbino, in 
order that those who read this abstract may be aware 
of the actual and candid truth." Upon a narrative thus 
modestly prefaced it is unnecessary to make any critical 
remarks. Ere we close this Book, their abrupt termina- 
tion, before the marriage of Prince Federigo, will be sadly 
but sufficiently accounted for.^ 

^ For the life of Francesco Maria II. our materials have been ample. His 
own Memoirs, extending from his birth to the marriage of his son, have been 
nearly all quoted verbatim. The autograph of this MS. I have examined in 
the Oliveriana Library (No. 384, folio 219 to 229), but have made my trans- 
lations from the only printed edition, in the twenty-ninth volume of the 
Nuova Raccolta cT Oftiscoli, known by the name Calogeriana, and published 
at Venice in 1776. There too will be found an account of the Devolution 

III. — K 129 

130 MEMOIRS OF THE [1564 

"To them [Duke Guidobaldo II. and Duchess Vittoria] 
was born at Pesaro, on the 20th of February, 1549, a son, 
who was named Francesco Maria. Cardinal Duranti was 
sent by the Pope to perform the ceremony of his baptism, 
which was celebrated with great splendour on the ist 
of May, Giacomo Soranzo acting as godfather in name 
of the republic of Venice. He was in infancy brought up 
with becoming care, and at three years of age was carried 
to Venice by his father and mother. Guidobaldo was 
then general in the service of that state, and their troops 
were chiefly stationed at Verona, whither Francesco Maria 
was taken, and where he had a dangerous illness, re- 
covered from which he returned home. There, as he 
grew up, he was taught all fitting exercises of mind and 
body, under the successive superintendence of Muzio 
of Giustinopoli, Antonio Galli of Urbino, and Girolamo 
Simonetta of Cagli : his masters in grammar were Vincenzo 
Bartoli of Urbino, and afterwards Ludovico Corrado of 
Mantua, of literary note. After some years, the Duke 
and his brother the Cardinal, having resolved to amuse 
themselves with a visit to Venice, at the fete of the 
Ascension, they took with them Francesco Maria, who was 
received with great favour and much made of, being 
admitted into the company delle Calze." This was in 
1564, and even thus early his taste for painting was 

of Urbino to the Holy See, from the pen of Antonio Donata of Venice, by 
whom that negotiation was concUided on the Duke's part. In the Maglia- 
bechiana Library at Florence (class 25, No. 76) is the autograph Diary 
of Francesco Maria from 1583 to 1623, which I have closely searched. The 
rich MS. collections of the Oliveriana are stored with original correspondence 
and other documents illustrative of his reign, most of which have been looked 
into with scarcely remunerative labour, but among the matter there gleaned, 
his instructions to his son may be deemed of especial importance. From 
a vast mass of such correspondence in these two libraries, a general insight into 
his character and position, and those of his son, has been acquired, as well as 
many minute traits of both ; but the Prince's brief and unhonoured span has 
been illustrated in a great measure from collections made by Francesco 
Saverio Passeri, of Pesaro, nephew of the naturalist Gianbattista Passeri, and 
printed in the twenty-sixth volume of the Calogeriana Collection. * Cf. also 
ScoriNi, La Giovuitzza di F. I\I. II. (Bologna, 1S99). 

is6s] DUKES OF URBINO 131 

noticed by Titian, and celebrated in a sonnet by Verdiz- 
zotti. An establishment was maintained for him at Venice 
apart from that of his father and uncle, and he gave 
many sumptuous entertainments, 

" Having returned to Pesaro, and completed his six- 
teenth year, he had a great wish to go forth and see the 
world and its usages, and made much interest that his 
father should send him to some court, preferring that of 
the Emperor, who was then at war with the Turk. To 
this his father was pleased to agree, but desired first to 
consult the Catholic King (Philip II.), in whose service he 
was, and who in reply commended the plan, but desired 
that it might be carried into effect at his own court, where 
the Prince would be welcomed and treated as a son. His 
intentions being thus necessarily altered, at the close of 
1565, after the marriage of his sister Donna Isabella with 
the Prince of Bisignano, he took his way to Spain, accom- 
panied by many knights, particularly by Count Francesco 
Landriani, and Pier-Antonio Lonato. Choosing the route 
by Genoa, he passed through Ferrara to Mantua, where 
he stayed fifteen days by his father's desire, who in youth 
long inhabited that city ; and hearing of his uncle the 
Duke of Parma's return just then from Flanders, he went 
to see him. On his arrival at Genoa he was lodged by 
Count Filippino Doria, his vassal in the castle of Sassocor- 
baro, and, after being visited and much distinguished by 
the Signory, he embarked in a war-galley of the Duke of 
Savoy, which, with another fully armed, had been sent on 
purpose for him, under the command of Admiral di Leini. 
In it he went to Savona, the native place of his family, 
where he was received into the house of Vigeri, who were 
his subjects, and being storm-stayed during eight days of 
the carnival, was entertained with festivities and serenades, 
as is customary in that country. 

" When the weather cleared, he re-embarked, and after 
a pleasant voyage of a few days reached Palamos in Spain, 

132 MEMOIRS OF THE [1568 

whence he went by land to Barcelona. In that city he 
passed most of Lent, to give time for an apartment being 
prepared for him in the palace, but got to Madrid for 
Easter week. He was met by the whole court and by 
many grandees, especially by the Marquis of Pescara, who 
manifested singular courtesy, attending to him as his own 
son ; whence a most intimate and enduring friendship 
arose between them. He got the same quarters which the 
Prince of Florence had occupied shortly before, and his 
treatment was precisely similar. Next day he waited 
upon the King, Queen, and Prince Royal, the Princess of 
Portugal, and the two sons of the Emperor [Maximilian 
II.], who were being educated there. By all he was 
received with distinguished favour, which continued during 
the two years and a half he spent at Madrid. He occupied 
himself in all those noble exercises which there, more than 
anywhere else, were attended to, practising military games 
on foot and horseback in public, and also privately under 
superintendence of the Marquis of Pescara, who was then 
considered unequalled in them. He frequently went out 
hunting with Don Carlos, by whom he was received into 
much intimacy ; and enjoyed a close friendship with Don 
John of Austria, afterwards the famed commander by sea 
and land. He also paid court to the ladies, and learned 
the sports of the jennet as practised there, from Don Pedro 
Enciquel, afterwards Count of Fuentes and general in 

" Some movements having occurred in Flanders, the 
King gave orders to proceed there, and the court, includ- 
ing Francesco Maria, made preparations to attend him. 
But the latter, wishing to see France, asked permission to 
take that route by land, and so to rejoin his Majesty, who 
was to go by sea. The King, desiring his attendance on his 
person, refused his request, and so the opportunity was 
lost, to his great mortification, and perhaps to the no small 
loss of his Majesty. Subsequently occurred the imprison- 


ment of Don Carlos, which was thus effected by order of 
his own father. An hour after midnight, the King, in his 
dressing-gown, holding a candle in his hand, having gone 
down to the Prince's room with his council of state and 
but one gentleman of his chamber, found him in bed. 
The Prince on seeing them tried to reach the corner, 
where were his sword and a pair of arquebuses, which he 
kept there always ready ; but this was prevented by the 
Duke of Feria, who had already secured these arms. Then, 
rushing to his father, he exclaimed, " So you are come 
to kill me?' To this his Majesty replied, 'Not so, but 
because you must live as becomes you, so be calm ; ' and 
never addressed him again. The Prince then said, ' I see 
that I am taken for a madman, which I am not, though a 
desperate one.' The King, having seen the doors and 
windows nailed up, leaving only a shutter open for light, 
and having desired the arms and all such things to be 
taken away, returned to his apartment, leaving with Don 
Carlos his major-domo Ruggo Mez de Silva (?) with several 
chamberlains and other officers of his household, a guard 
of Germans being stationed outside of his door ; and the 
court was greatly vexed thereat." 

These details are curious, in illustration of the mysterious 
fate of Don Carlos, eldest son of Philip II. It seems 
agreed that he was of a most unhappy temperament, 
perverse, wilful, and violent, possibly insane. The imme- 
diate cause of the unnatural scene here described has never 
been satisfactorily explained. It is generally stated that 
he was discovered in treasonable correspondence with the 
Dutch ; though others have attributed the behaviour of his 
father to jealousy of an old attachment between his wife 
Elizabeth of Valois, and the Prince, to whom she was said 
to have been previously promised. The Prince's arrest 
occurred in January 1568 : it was followed by no trial or 
public investigation, but in the following July he ceased to 
live. His death was understood to have taken place under 

134 MEMOIRS OF THE [1568 

some judicial sanction, but whether by poison or the 
sword was never known. The entombment of his head 
separate from his body renders the second supposition 
more probable. 

We may here mention that, before embarking for Spain, 
the Prince had, from his Cardinal uncle, the dukedom 
of Sora, yielding an income of about 4000 scudi, which, 
however, proved quite inadequate to his expenditure. 
Zane, the Venetian ambassador, asserts that the large 
arrears of pay due to his father, which he was com- 
missioned to recover from the Spanish government, were 
more than absorbed by his extravagance, and that this was 
the reason of his recall. His own narrative, however, is 
entirely silent upon this subject. 

" Francesco Maria, having been at length recalled by 
his father, who was anxious for the marriage of his only 
son and heir, took leave of the King and Queen, and the 
royal family, and proceeded by Saragossa to Barcelona, 
where he embarked in a galley with the Marquis of 
Pescara, then going as viceroy to Sicily. After a pros- 
perous voyage of eight days, he reached Genoa, where he 
lived with Giovanni Andrea Doria, with whom he had 
become intimate at the court of Spain. Thence he went 
to Milan for some days, and was welcomed with distinc- 
tion ; and then visited Madame of Austria at Piacenza ; 
and at Parma stayed with the Duke and his son, towards 
both of whom he maintained the best intelligence and 
cousinship. He next passed through Bologna to Ravenna, 
where his uncle, the Cardinal of Urbino, was archbishop, 
and accompanied him to Pesaro. He arrived on the 
nth of July, 1568, and was received with the greatest joy 
by all classes. 

" After a few months, seeing that his father made no 
movement in the affair of his marriage, he returned to 
his studies, interrupted during his absence from Italy. 
He read mathematics with Federigo Comandino, and 


Franz Han/slaeni:l 
A/ter the picture by Titian m the Iiiipe>ial Muse7un, I'iennn 

1569] DUKES OF URBINO 135 

afterwards philosophy with Cesare Benedetti (subse- 
quently Bishop of Pesaro), Felice Pacciotti, Giacomo, 
Mazzoni, and Cristofero Guarimone. At the same time 
he kept up active exercise in arms, riding, hunting, ball, 
and racket." About this time Mocenigo, the Venetian 
ambassador, praises his fine dispositions and pleasing 
manners, as well as his progress in various pursuits, es- 
pecially mathematics and fortification ; but says that his 
eager exposure to fatigue gave rise to apprehensions for 
his health, which were sadly realised. He adds that, since 
his return from Spain, something of the hauteur which 
characterised that nation was noticed in his manner. 

"Finally the Duke decided upon his marriage with 
Donna Lucrezia d'Este, sister of Alfonso, the last Duke 
of Ferrara, which took place, though little to his taste ; 
for she was old enough to have been his mother. He 
went for this purpose to Ferrara, where the nuptials were 
celebrated with great splendour, and with chivalrous games 
and other festivities." 

Such is all that we learn from the Memoirs of Francesco 
Maria regarding one of the most eventful moments of his 
life. Passeri, in his collections for the life of Prince Fede- 
rigo, mentions a rumour of his attachment to a lady at 
the Spanish court as the immediate cause of his recall 
home, and of the match with Princess Lucrezia being 
concluded ; indeed, I have seen, in the correspondence 
of the Oliveriana Library, that a certain Donna Madalena 
Girona was the supposed object of that early affection. 
That he made no secret to his father of his distaste at 
the connection laid out for him, is stated on the same 
authority, as well as the Duke's answer, that his people's 
welfare was to be considered rather than his son's fancies, 
whose youth made it the more requisite to mate him with 
a princess of tried prudence and staid manners. How far 
these epithets were borne out by Lucrezia's subsequent 
conduct will be presently seen ; meanwhile, the following 

136 MEMOIRS OF THE [1569-71 

letter, to one who long after continued an especial friend 
and favourite, will show that the bridegroom gave no out- 
ward signs of his discontent. 

"To Camillo Giordani. 

" My most magnificent and well-beloved, 

" I am confident that you feel the pleasure which you 
express at the conclusion which it has pleased God to 
vouchsafe to my marriage with Madam Lucrezia d'Este, 
and at all other like occasions of joy which happen to 
me ; and the duty you have in this instance paid me in 
your letter has been most truly acceptable, and has my 
best thanks. God ever bless you ! From Pesaro, the last 
day of [i5]69. ^xhe Prince of Urbino." 

The ceremony took place at Ferrara on the 2nd of 
January, 1571, and on the 8th the bride was brought 
home to Pesaro. The people hailed her with enthusiasm, 
and spent largely in shows and rejoicings to welcome her 
arrival, besides giving to the Duke a donative exceeding 
10,000 scudi. Yet Mocenigo, the Venetian ambassador 
accredited to the marriage, while lauding the handsome 
and gracious Princess, admits an early prepossession 
against her, on the part both of her new subjects and her 
lord. It was the hope of a heir to the dukedom that pre- 
ponderated with the former ; and, as she was many years 
older than her husband, a chill of disappointment natur- 
ally mingled even with their congratulations.^ The same 
observer states it as the general impression that, the 
Prince having compromised himself with a lady in Spain, 
his father thought the best way of getting him out of all 
difficulty with that court was to match him suddenly with 
a princess of high rank, whose dowry of 150,000 scudi 

^ Tesoro Politico, II., fol. 169. Relazioni Venete, serie II., vol. II., p. 
105. Litta says she was born the l6th December, 1535, making her thirteen 
years and two months his senior. Her sister, Tasso's Leonora, was born 
the 19th of June, 1537. ' . ■ 


was by no means unacceptable. Zane, another envoy 
from the maritime Republic a few years later, describes 
the Duchess as below par in good looks, but well-dressed: 
adding that difference of age accounted for the absence of 
affection between her and her husband. 

The following letters from the Duke and Duchess of 
Urbino, Prince Francesco Maria and his bride, were written 
in answer to congratulations sent them on occasion of the 
marriage, by the Cardinal de' Medici, who afterwards 
became Grand Duke of Florence, by the title of Ferdi- 
nand I.^ They have been introduced here as an index to 
the feelings of the respective writers regarding a union 
which turned out so unsatisfactory to all parties ; but, still 
more, as a specimen of the epistolary style then prevalent 
between personages of exalted rank, and of the general 
formality and barrenness of interest which characterise 
such documents. 

" My most illustrious, most reverend, and most re- 
spected Lord, 
" The Marquis of Villa Franca has discharged towards 
me the duty with which your most illustrious Lordship 
was pleased to entrust him, and he has represented your 
gracious sympathy towards our wedding in a manner most 
acceptable to all. For the satisfaction we, and myself 
especially, have derived from this, I do most heartily 
thank your most illustrious Lordship, praying you to lend 
a willing ear to the assurances of my affection, and of my 
wish for frequent opportunities of correspondence, which I 
have given to the Marquis, and which I do not doubt he 
will, without fail, in compliance with my desire, fully repeat 
to you. I kiss your most illustrious Lordship's hands, 
praying for you all happiness. From Pesaro, the 15th of 
January, 1571. 

"Your most Illustrious Lordship's servant, 
"The Duke of Urbino." 

^ Bibl. Riccardiana, MSS. No. 2340, art. 1 16-19, 


" My most illustrious, most revered, and most re- 
spected Lord, 

" The proof which your most illustrious Lordship has 
deigned to give me, in your most kind letter, of the 
pleasure you take in the marriage of the Prince my son, I 
esteem a great favour ; for not only do I desire your sym- 
pathy in all my happiness, but I am also anxious in every 
circumstance to find occasion of serving your most illus- 
trious Lordship. Thus will all my present and future 
occasions of joy be valued by me in proportion as they 
may become subservient to that object, and to the affec- 
tion I bear your most illustrious Lordship, whose hands I 
kiss, praying the Lord God of his grace to vouchsafe you 
a happy accomplishment of all your desires. From Pesaro, 
the 15th of January, 1571. 

" Your most illustrious and most reverend Lordship's 
most humble servant, 

"The Duchess of Urbino." 

" My most illustrious and most reverend Lord, 

" The Marquis of Villa Franca, who has handed me 
your most illustrious Lordship's letter, will likewise report 
to you my unceasing desire for your service, and the 
pleasure wherewith I have received the courteous duty 
you have been pleased on this occasion to send me, for 
which I certainly am under many obligations, as the Mar- 
quis will more fully show you. I, however, pray your 
illustrious Lordship to afford me frequent opportunities 
of effectually proving to you my good will ; and I kiss 
your hands, beseeching for you from our Lord God all 
the happiness you may desire. From Pesaro, the 15th of 
January, 1571. 

" Your most illustrious and most reverend Lordship's 
most affectionate servant, 

" The Prince of Urbino." 


" Most illustrious and most reverend Lord, 
" Whatever pleasure my affairs may afford your most 
illustrious Lordship is only the consequence of your great 
kindness and courtesy ; and as regards the expression of 
it, which you have thought fit to communicate to me by 
the Marquis of Villa Franca, and by your own letters, I 
can but say that I kiss your hand for all your affection, 
assuring you that every occasion of happiness you may 
enjoy will afford me cause for quite as much congratula- 
tion as I now have received from you : and referring 
you to whatever more that gentleman will say in my 
behalf, I remain, praying God to gratify you in all your 

" Your most illustrious Lordship's very obedient, 


"From Pesaro, the i6th of January, 1571." 

Renee of France, mother of Princess Lucrezia, had 
embraced the doctrines of Calvin, who visited Ferrara 
about the time of her daughter's birth, and Francesco 
Porta da Creta, preceptor of the young Princess, was dis- 
covered to be tinged with the same principles. Alarmed 
for the orthodoxy of his daughters, Duke Ercole dis- 
missed their instructor, and secluded his escort, in a wing 
of the palace, from all intercourse with the children. A 
cloud of mystery hangs over these transactions. 

" Soon after his return to Pesaro from his marriage, the 
Pope, the King of Spain, and the Venetians having [on 
the 20th of May] leagued together against the Turk, Don 
John of Austria came into Italy as commander-in-chief, 
and Francesco Maria, with his father's permission, set out 
on the 8th of July, to join him at Genoa. There he 
embarked in the Savoyard frigate ^ that had carried him 
to Spain, commanded by the same Monsignor de Leini, 

' The word which I thus translate means literally a ship or galley com- 
manded by a captain. 


who had orders from the Duke of Savoy to receive him 
with that affectionate courtesy which both he and his 
sovereign ever displayed towards him. Having touched 
at Naples, he was there welcomed with the utmost favour 
and distinction, and passed his time most agreeably. 
From thence the fleet sailed to Messina, where he 
assisted at a general council of war, as indeed he often 
subsequently did.^ Leaving Sicily, the expedition in a 
few days arrived at Corfu, and on the morning of the 7th 
of October fell in with the Turk. Don John drew up the 
Christian fleet in order of battle, the Proveditore Agostino 
Barbarigo, of Venice, having the landward squadron, and 
Giovanni Andrea Doria the opposite and heavier one, 
with Don Alvarez di Bassano as a reserve; the centre he 
kept for himself, where was also Francesco Maria, in the 
foresaid frigate. Here was the thick of the fight, as at this 
point the two admirals met. The Turkish at first selected 
the frigate in which was Francesco Maria, whom he well 
knew, and who warmly received his attack ; but as soon 
as he distinguished the flag-ship, he turned to engage it : 
and, after fighting for two hours, the Turks struck, their 
admiral. Pacha Ali, having been killed by an arquebus ; 
the others were all put to the sword ; and so was this 
long very doubtful victory secured to the Christians. 
Meanwhile the Savoyard frigate fought two galleys, one 
ahead and the other astern, and had enough to do, most 
of her company being killed or wounded. The squadron 
under Barbarigo drove on shore many galleys, sinking 
and taking others ; but he was wounded by a splinter in 
the eye, of which he soon after died. Doria had at first 
run out to sea, fighting all the while ; but seeing the wing 
exposed, he returned and made good use of the oppor- 
tunity, cutting up several galleys, and getting off un- 
injured. Such is an abstract of this battle, wherein 

^ The muster-roll of the armament at this time will be found in V. 
of the Appendix. 


Francesco Maria acquitted himself becomingly, for which 
Don John distinguished him with many marks of regard, 
and assigned him, among other favours, twenty-four 
Turkish slaves. The Admiral bearing for Sicily, he 
sailed from Corfu in a Venetian galley to Otranto, and 
returned home by land in November, to await orders, and 
rejoin the fleet the following year." 

The naval engagement of which Francesco Maria has 
given the preceding sketch was that of Lepanto or Curzo- 
lari, where Passeri states that he had with him a large 
body of his father's subjects, a fact which, although 
passed over in his own account of this his only military 
service, is confirmed by Armanni, who tells us that there 
were in the fleet above fifty from Gubbio alone, thirty of 
whom were officers, a circumstance on which the Prince 
was complimented by Don John. It is unnecessary here 
to add to the Prince's details. The general result of the 
engagement was most conclusive : the enemy's loss has 
been calculated at thirty thousand killed, ten thousand 
wounded, and fifteen thousand Christian slaves rescued 
from bondage, besides the destruction or capture of six 
hundred sail, and a vast booty. The Christian fleet con- 
sisted of above two hundred war-galleys, besides many 
other vessels of various sorts. 

" On bringing his wife from Ferrara to Pesaro [in 
January, 1572], they were magnificently received, and 
passed a gay carnival. In Lent he repaired to Rome, after 
visiting the holy house of Loreto, and was there enter- 
tained by his uncles, the Cardinals of Urbino and Farnese. 
Pius V. insisted upon very graciously admitting him to an 
audience, notwithstanding an illness of which he soon 
died.^ .... Francesco Maria was also distinguished by 
his successor, Gregory XIII., but, on suddenly being re- 

^ Particulars of those intrigues in the conclave, by which Cardinal 
Buoncompagni prevailed over his rivals Morone and Farnese, are omitted, 
having no reference to our immediate subject. 


called by his father, he at once, though reluctantly, obeyed. 
Soon afterwards, he was attacked by a severe illness, 
which lasted for three months, aggravated by a false 
rumour of another naval engagement." 

The part taken by the Prince in the unhappy disturb- 
ances of Urbino has been already shown from his own 
pen, and that of other narrators, as well as his attendance 
upon his father's death-bed.*^ We have now, therefore, to 
enter upon his reign, and here again we have recourse to 
his memoirs : — " The new Duke departed from Urbino, 
where he showed himself at the archiepiscopal palace in 
his robes of sovereignty, and then, as was usual, rode 
through the streets, on a milk-white steed, dressed in 
white, and under canopy, thereafter receiving the oaths of 
allegiance in the great hall of the palace : all this he re- 
peated at Sinigaglia." Among the Oliverian MSS. is this 
account of the ceremonial, curiously illustrative of the 
manners of the age : — " After mass of the Holy Spirit had 
been sung, the Archbishop, Felice of Cagli, advanced to 
the door of the cathedral, and thence, accompanied by the 
Gonfaloniere, the three priors, and the people, went to 
bring forth the Prince from the palace. He wore a riband 
and scarf of white damask ; on his head a crown of 
pearls, from behind which there hung some bands ; and 
on his shoulders a short cloak of white fur. When he 
reached the head of the stair in the archiepiscopal palace, 
on which was a carpet and a cushion, the Archbishop held 
the Cross for him to kiss. He then entered the church, 
and approached the high altar, on which was the Holy 
Sacrament, where, after the usual devotions, accompanied 
with beautiful sacred music, the Primate read certain 
prayers and pronounced the benediction, and his Highness 
made offertory of a piece of ten scudi. He then retired 
to an adjoining chapel, and, changing his dress, put on 

** Cf. Celli, Storia delta Sollevazione di Urbitio contro il Duca Gtiido- 
bahio, 1372-4 (Torino, 1892). 

1574] DUKES OF URBINO 143 

a mantle of white, with cap and feathers, in which he 
issued from the church, and mounted a handsome charger. 
The Gonfaloniere preceded him on horseback, his drawn 
sword in his hand, calling aloud, ' Long live the Duke of 
Urbino ! ' and the people followed, repeating the cry. 
Thus they went through the city and returned to the 
palace. The populace then took off his cloak ; and 
M[aestr]o Antonio Fazino asked his cap, and received it. 
In like manner he was stripped of his spurs ; and his 
Highness then presented his horse to the city youths, and 
Mo. Calber Galler mounted it. Mo. Antonio Corboli and 
the Cavaliere Guido Staccoli next put him on his spurs, 
Mo. Flaminio Bonaventura his mantle, and Mo. Antonio 
Fazino held his horse. Having been by this formality 
elected, he went into the great hall, where the Gonfaloniere 
and priors, with all the deputies of other cities, by a 
formal instrument gave their oaths of allegiance, whilst he, 
in a letter read in his presence by Mo. Giulio Veterani, his 
secretary, promised to be to them a loving sovereign ; after 
which, all the people came one by one to kiss his hand. 
All this was done with much rejoicing on the part of the 
public, and of his Highness, to whom may God grant 
grace to rule his subjects to the contentment of all." 

The following letter, to the young Duke upon his suc- 
cession, is printed in the correspondence of Girolamo 
Muzio, his preceptor, whose advices, though somewhat 
long, well merit attention, totally opposed as they are in 
spirit to then prevailing principles of government, and 
anticipating opinions even in our day charily developed 
in Italy. It is, above all, interesting to discover, on such 
satisfactory evidence, the political views which must have 
been inculcated on Francesco Maria from his early years, 
and which bore some seed in after life, notwithstanding 
the natural defects of his temper, and the crotchets im- 
bibed from a false philosophy. Had such counsels been 
generally given and followed, constitutional government 


in Italy would now have been neither a mockery nor a 
bone of contention. 

" Men tried by difficulties and crosses nerve themselves 
to endure them ; yet, knowing how your Excellency has 
long suffered from many troubles and annoyances, I shall 
undertake no vain task in wishing to offer consolation in 
this your new vexation and trial. I need not now say 
with what grief I have heard of the late sad event, know- 
ing as you do how true a servant I was of his Excellency 
our Sovereign. On the contrary, I shall address myself 
to talk of certain considerations which appear to me be- 
seeming the succession you have obtained, through a long 
and noble ancestry, meaning to speak to you with the 
freedom and loyalty which a servant should display when 
his master's interests are at stake ; and upon this under- 
standing I shall begin. 

" I remember more than once, while conversing with 
the illustrious Duchess your mother, to have lamented 
the manner in which I observed the government of the 
state conducted, praying the Almighty to protect you 
from the risk of being expelled from it, as there would 
have been no reasonable hope of the people recalling you 
again ; a fact of which her good sense was fully aware. 
It would be long and irksome were I to repeat the various 
matters that I disapproved of, but from them I can de- 
duce certain rules which it seems to me you ought to 
adopt for regulation of your authority, and the mainten- 
ance of justice, so as to reacquire and preserve the affec- 
tion of your subjects. But, Sire, permit me to drop 
ceremonious designations, in order more readily to ex- 
press my views. 

" Let it be your first care, then, to endow the magis- 
trates and city authorities with the ample jurisdiction 
which their duties require, enjoining upon them to execute 
justice without respect to persons ; command also your 

1574] DUKES OF URBINO 145 

courtiers not to interfere in private suits, and do you in 
like manner yourself forbear meddling with such, leav- 
ing the judges to proceed therein by the usual course. 
Further, should the judge be suspected by either party, 
let the cause be remitted to another, or let an assessor be 
named ; and, to such alleged suspicion, it is no sufficient 
answer that any one may be doubted by anybody. In 
short, it is enough that the judges proceed to pronounce 
sentence in the regular way; and for such as feel aggrieved, 
the common and appropriate remedies are open. In my 
time the custom was abolished — I know not at whose 
recommendation — of sending causes to be inquired into 
by a council of skilled persons [a jury ?] ; it was an ex- 
cellent and much approved mode of judging, and on that 
account it would be more advisable to return to it than to 
leave it off. Statutory penalties have also been changed 
to arbitrary ones, which has effected great alterations ; for 
where the statutes condemned ten, caprice has multiplied 
by hundreds, with what justice I know not. This was, 
indeed, by advice of certain doctors, who declared that 
the Prince's will ought to be held as law, — a diabolical 
sentiment, since it is not the absolute will, but the virtuous 
and upright opinion of the Prince that should be deemed 
law ; nor do I see how any virtuous and honest opinion 
can contravene statutes confirmed by mutual agreement, 
and sanctioned by oaths. 

" Be specially attentive in hearing those who bring 
complaints of oppression or injury received from your 
ministers or courtiers, and refuse not to listen even to 
such as accuse those most dear to you ; on the contrary^ 
lend them all your ears, for in proportion as your favourites 
can reckon upon you, they are likely to consider them- 
selves safe in committing outrages and insults. Think 
not you can have about you persons who will never make 
a slip, whether from love, or hatred, or dishonesty. Hear, 
therefore, by all means hear, and punish him who has 

III. — L 

146 MEMOIRS OF THE [i574 

either done amiss, or who has brought a false charge. 
And such audiences you may give at all seasons and 
places, even when going to mass, or in your moments of 
recreation, without engaging yourself for a future day ; for 
quarrels may arise requiring prompt remedy, and which 
cannot wait a future day or hour. By these means you 
may easily secure the execution of justice, because there 
will eventually not be many such disputes, when once, by 
a few examples of severity, you have brought your magis- 
trates, your court, and consequently the rest of your 
subjects, into such discipline that you will have few com- 
plaints to listen to, and will be able to govern your state 
with little trouble. But see in the commencement to give 
proof of your vigour, that matters may subsequently 
proceed favourably. 

"When others have suffered injury or offence, do them 
justice, punishing offenders for the general satisfaction ; 
for you may be sure that to visit offences committed upon 
others protects yourself from the like, whilst impunity 
gives security to offenders. In the matter of third parties, 
clemency need not be thought of, forgiveness of a fault 
being a favour bestowed, which affects the interest of the 
party offended ; thus, he who pardons injuries done to me, 
disposes of what I alone should dispose of, which is un- 
just. It may be well to remit injuries done to yourself, 
for that is your own affair, and it is worthy of a mag- 
nanimous prince to pardon when he might punish ; but a 
sovereign ought never to forgive offences against others 
without their special consent, which cannot be freely 
given if he intimates such to be his desire. Should dis- 
putes arise among your people involving individual honour, 
you must be judge of this, as much as of charges touching 
their life and property. Indeed, you ought to decide 
judicially as to whose reputation is intact and whose com- 
promised ; and by chastising any unworthy action, you 
will at once promote justice and give satisfaction to the 

1574] DUKES OF URBINO 147 

injured party. I am touching briefly upon matters which 
require ample consideration, but it is enough that I moot 
certain points, knowing well that you have good sense to 
weigh and decide them. And now to pass to another 

" You ought to calculate the amount of your revenues, 
and so proportion your expenses that at the end of the 
year you have rather a surplus of ten than a deficiency of 
one ; for a short-coming of one to-day, and another to- 
morrow, and another the day following, will bring you to 
ruin. Surround yourself with a court more distinguished 
by the qualities than the number of its members ; let it 
not be larger than you can support, and see that you 
maintain the mastery, letting none there gain an ascen- 
dancy over you. Let each have his department, and be 
satisfied to do his own duty well, the chamberlain not 
interfering with the counsellor, nor the sewer with the 
secretary. See that all have their allowances punctually. 
Never aggrieve merchants, citizens, nor peasants, by laying 
hands upon their effects. True generosity will satisfy first 
those who have rightful claims, not squandering upon 
gamblers or buffoons ; and when these are satisfied, will 
give to the needy, and to other works of charity. Do not, 
to gain an empty name for liberality, lavish your means 
on costly hospitalities towards great personages : those 
who have hundreds of millions do not so, while you who 
scarcely have tens would do it ! Entertain the master at 
dinner or supper with yourself, but let the rest go to the 
hotel at their own expense, and so will you avoid vast 
trouble and great expense. 

"In towns all innovations are unpopular and annoying, 
but especially new imposts ; you cannot do anything 
more generally offensive than to raise them, nor more 
acceptable than to replace on their original footing those 
which have been augmented. New taxes and extra- 
ordinary escheats seem at first sight useful, but by a 

148 MEMOIRS OF THE [i574 

providential dispensation they absorb ordinary revenues, 
making these incomprehensibly to disappear. Let all 
keep their own ; resort to no compulsion of property nor 
of person ; interfere not with marriages ; seek not to 
reward friends or benefit servants out of other people's 
means : and be it ever graven on your memory, that 
princes are sent for the people's weal, not people for the 
benefit of princes. 

" These few observations have occurred to me, most 
excellent Sire, for your remembrance. And I have to 
observe generally and in fine, that you should render 
yourself amiable to your subjects, being kind, considerate, 
affable, and doing your utmost to recover their pristine 
affection, which appears to a great degree lost. You 
could not by force maintain this state against a powerful 
foe : let the attachment of your people then supplement 
your strength ; and it can only be acquired by justice, 
equity, mildness, and clemency. In the present juncture, 
you might by a single act gain, confirm, and augment the 
good will and devotion of all your subjects. That act is 
a grand amnesty, and restoration of exiles and emigrants, 
embracing all as your children, forgetful of the past. Ah, 
do this. Sire ! do it ; it will be a welcome favour to your 
people, to your friends, to your servants. On the strength 
of such generosity, you will gain the name of a benign 
and a magnanimous prince; and, besides having to hope 
from the Almighty an eternal reward, I can ensure your 
receiving from the Pope thanks and approbation. 

" I pray God that this letter of mine may be received 
by your Excellency with the same feelings as those which 
dictated it, and that He would vouchsafe you a long life 
and happy reign ; and I kiss your hands. From Rome, 
the nth of October, 1574." 

Let us now see from his own narrative what effect these 
blunt but precious counsels, and the prudent advices of 

< s 


1574] DUKES OF URBINO 149 

his uncle Ottavio, Duke of Parma, had upon his early 
measures. " His first act on assuming the government 
was to raze those fortifications at Urbino which had been 
made during the insurrection, and to reduce the impost 
laid on by his father in his necessity; and this although 
the late Duke's liberality had imposed upon him many 
burdensome expenses to which his revenues were scarcely 
equal, besides heavy debts at interest. He was thus 
obliged to restrict himself to the unavoidable state 

" Further, he was disappointed of those aids he looked 
for from the kindness of his Catholic Majesty, in whose 
service his father had died, at whose court he had himself 
been brought up, for whom he had fought in the battle of 
Lepanto, and to whose service he had ever professed his 
intention steadily to adhere. But, during eight long years 
his hopes dragged on without any result from that quarter, 
and thus was he compelled to attend closely to his private 
affairs, and prevented from carrying into execution an 
intention he had always entertained of following the 
career of arms, which he was on the point of commencing 
in Flanders, where he was already looked for when he lost 
his father. He, however, succeeded in contenting his 
subjects, and in effacing from their minds whatever bitter- 
ness remained in consequence of the recent measures ; 
and this chiefly from their being aware that these events 
had been displeasing to him, and that he had studied to 
assist their cause in so far as his parental duty permitted." 

The moderate and self-denying measures to which the 
Duke thus modestly alludes are the subject of more de- 
tailed commendation by Zane, who was commissioned by 
the Venetians to congratulate him upon his succession' 
At the moment of receiving the oaths of fidelity, he 
abolished those imposts which had occasioned the recent 
discontents. They were five in number, all upon excise- 
able commodities, yielding about i6,(X)0 scudi to the 


revenue. This course he followed up by various grants 
and immunities to the respective cities, but especially to 
Urbino. Even before his father's death he had obtained 
a commutation there of the duties on casking wine and 
cheese, and of the quatrino per lb. upon butcher-meat, for 
an equivalent of 20,000 scudi payable in ten years ; but 
he now remitted entirely this contribution. He restored 
to their property and privileges most of the outlaws and 
their families ; he recalled the proclamations disarming 
the district ; and, by destroying the fortifications erected 
after the rebellion, he at once relieved the people of a 
garrison, and demonstrated his renewed confidence in 
their fidelity. But what had still happier effect, was 
his repeatedly visiting that capital with but one or 
two attendants, in full and well-placed reliance upon 
the affection of his subjects, of whom he ever spoke 
in public and private with the most affectionate regard. 
Himself deeply imbued with sentiments of religion, 
it was his aim to encourage the same among his 
people. Nor was he indifferent to personal accomplish- 
ments, or to the reputation which his predecessors had 
established, and which Castiglione has immortalised. 
" There are ever at his court some persons distinguished 
in arms or in letters, and it is the taste for all to cultivate 
a refined urbanity of manner, and to be in every respect 
perfect courtiers, a fashion of old observance there, yet 
more than ever in repute since the Prince visited Spain." 
But it is time to resume the Autobiography. 

" Notwithstanding this state of affairs, he discovered a 
conspiracy against his person, originating with men who 
had reason to apprehend the consequences of their former 
proceedings. These were Pietro Bonarelli of Ancona, on 
whom the late Duke had bestowed the countship of Or- 
ciano, with other estates and great wealth, and Antonio 
Stati, Count of Montebello. Orciano saved himself by 
flight, and was condemned in absence ; the other was put 

1574] DUKES OF URBINO 151 

upon trial, and at length, in due execution of justice, he 
was beheaded, and some of his accomplices hanged.^ 
Francesco Maria, nevertheless, laboured for the good 
government of his people, with due economy of his time. 
In the morning he gave audience to his counsellors and 
secretaries, and in the evening to all who desired it, dis- 
missing these with despatch ; and thus business went on 
well and rightly." We are told by Gozze,^ who seems to 
have been a contemporary, that at this period he occupied 
himself much with criminal police, and exerted himself to 
repress brigandage, and to reform the abuses arising from 
privileged sanctuaries. His rigorous perseverance in such 
measures, and his stern demeanour towards the nobility, 
acquired for him, with many, a reputation for severity, 
which the infirmities of his temper must have served to 
confirm. The only other reference to his system of ad- 
ministration which the Autobiography contains, is as 
follows : — " He attended assiduously to the government of 
his state, maintaining peace, and administering justice 
with integrity and impartiality. He passed the summer 
at Urbino, the winter between Pesaro and Castel Durante. 
At intervals he visited his other residences, and when he 
omitted doing this in person, he despatched one of the 
judges on a sort of circuit, who in one year went to 
Gubbio, Cagli, Fossombrone, and La Pergola ; in another 
to Sinigaglia and Mondavio; and in a third to the province 
of Montefeltro." 

^ The object of this plot is stated to have been the Duke's assassination 
at a hunting party in the manors of Orciano, to which he was invited by 
the conspirators. 

^ MSS. Oliveriana No. 324. 


The unsatisfactory results of his marriage — He separates from the Duchess — 
His court and habits — Death of the Duchess — He remarries. 

HAVING thus thrown together all that the 
Duke has thought fit to detail regarding 
the principles of his government and the 
early events of his reign, we now proceed 
to narrate in their order, from his Diary and from other 
sources, the few incidents afforded by those peaceful and 
monotonous pursuits wherein many subsequent years were 
passed. The first of these was of a painful domestic 
character, arising out of the unsatisfactory terms upon 
which he had during several years been with the Duchess. 
That love formed no ingredient in the match has been 
already shown, and perhaps his speedy and voluntary 
departure on a distant military expedition may be taken 
as a proof that his indifference did not diminish after wed- 
lock had riveted his chains. In 1573, Lucrezia was laid 
up at Novilara with a feverish cold, and was attended by 
her husband, who with great reluctance consented to her 
return to Ferrara, on the excuse of change of air being 
requisite for re-establishment of her health. The truth 
seems to have been, that her marriage appearing unlikely 
to give an heir to the family, the Prince was confirmed 
in his original distaste, and this is said to have occasioned 
some disagreeable scenes with his father, whom he blamed 
for having forced upon him so unfortunate an alliance. 
The scandal to which these probably gave rise, and the 
example of coldness towards her which he most assuredly 



set, had, no doubt, rendered her position sufficiently un- 
pleasant, and, after exchanging it for the freedom of her 
brother's elegant court, it is scarcely to be wondered that 
she hesitated to return, even after her husband had suc- 
ceeded to the sovereignty of Urbino. That rumour was 
busy with gossip and conjectures is pretty obvious, and 
the countenance which Muratori gives to an allegation 
of Lucrezia's jealousy of his supposed infidelities may be 
taken as the version current at Ferrara of their mysterious 
non-adherence. Of this suspicion the life and character 
of Francesco afford an ample refutation, but its existence 
induced an endeavour on his part to bring about a better 
understanding with his wife. 

In 1577, accordingly, he employed the Bishop of Pesaro 
and Father-general del Carmine to persuade her to return 
to his home. In a paper of instructions for their guidance, 
preserved among the Oliveriana MSS., he declares that 
the excuses she pleaded were of no weight, and could 
not be the real motives of her absence. In reference to 
pecuniary arrangements, he urges the great economy and 
self-denial which his father's embarrassments imposed 
upon him, but offers her the same establishment as his 
mother enjoyed, besides Novilara and its dependencies, in 
all about 6000 scudi a-year. But, in consideration of the 
slanderous and groundless imputations against himself to 
which her absence had given rise, he intimates his intention 
to select for her a suitable suite of respectable persons, 
leaving her, however, to choose eight or ten from them to 
be more immediately about her person. This negotiation 
having failed, the affair was next year submitted for the 
decision of Cardinals Farnese, Sforza, and d'Este : it would 
appear that an amicable separation was then determined 
upon ; at all events, the Duchess returned no more to her 
husband's state. 

The notice of this disagreeable topic in the diary of 
Francesco Maria is as follows ;— " Meanwhile the Duchess 

154 MEMOIRS OF THE [1577 

wished to return to Ferrara, where she subsequently chose 
to remain, a resolution which gave no annoyance to her 
husband ; for, as she was unlikely to bring him a family, 
her absence mattered little. Her provision was amicably 
arranged, and their intercourse continued uniformly on 
the most courteous terms." In support of this last state- 
ment the following letter from Lucrezia is conclusive. 

" To the most serene Lord my Consort the Duke of 

" My most serene Lord and affectionate Consort, 

" I could not have heard any message with more satis- 
faction than that which Count Alessandro della Massa has 
brought me in your Highness's name, on presenting your 
affectionate letters, nor could any present have been more 
gratifying than the picture which you were pleased to 
send me : both on account of its subject, and as coming 
from your hands, it will be ever the most valued that I 
possess. On all accounts, therefore, do I kiss your 
Highness's hand, recommending myself to your goodness ; 
and I pray the Lord to preserve you ever in all happiness. 
From Ferrara, 28th of May, 1586. 

" Your most loving and obedient consort and servant, 

"Lucrezia d'Este." 

The Oliveriana MSS. contain many other letters from 
Lucrezia ; but, as usual with such princely documents, 
they are more rich in mannered phrases of compliment 
than in those natural sentiments which form the charm 
of epistolary composition, and afford a correct index of 
individual character. Most of them are commendatory 
introductions of priests and friars, a class of acquaintances 
more congenial to her husband's disposition than her own, 
the chief foible in her character being an immoderate 
addiction to those festive and exciting pleasures, which, 
although the business of her brother's court, met with 

After the picture by Bronzino in the Pitti Gallery, Florence 

is82] DUKES OF URBINO 155 

little encouragement at that of her consort. Her inter- 
course with Tasso will fall to be noticed in our fifty-first 
chapter, when describing the sorrows of that wayward 
genius. After her return to Ferrara, she interested her- 
self in establishing at San Matteo an asylum for wives, 
who, like herself, were separated by incompatibility of 
character. Soon after his separation from the Duchess 
had been arranged, Francesco Maria paid a visit to the 
court of Tuscany, where he met with a distinguished 
reception, and spent fifteen days very agreeably amid the 
many attractions of Florence, varied by conjedies and 
amusements of the chase. During the ensuing carnival 
he introduced unwonted gaiety at Pesaro, holding a 
tournament, at which he entered the lists in person. 
About this time, too, his finances were recruited by a 
donative of 10,000 scudi granted to him by that city. 

The Duke's autograph Diary, from which we have 
recently quoted, and to which we shall frequently refer, 
having been carried to Florence with his other personal 
effects in 163 1, remains in the Magliabechiana Library 
(Class XXV., No. "jG). It is a narrow folio volume, like an 
index book, containing about two hundred pages entirely 
in his own hand. The entries are limited to a bare notice 
of facts without comment. The topics most frequently 
registered are the passage of remarkable strangers through 
Pesaro ; the births, marriages, and deaths of persons of 
rank ; his own periodical movements to his various resi- 
dences, and visits to other parts of the duchy ; his frequent 
hunting parties in autumn and winter, chiefly from Castel 
Durante ; his taking medicine, including regular semestral 
purgations in spring and autumn. His taste for the 
physical sciences is illustrated by noting the occurrence of 
earthquakes, unusual storms, or other phenomena of 
nature, the recurrence of frost and snow, of the cigala and 
the nightingale, of mosquitoes, and similar signs of the 
seasons ; also the appearance of any rare animal or 

156 MEMOIRS OF THE [1528 

monstrous production of nature. The Journal commences 
in April, 1583, and is continued without interruption until 
March, 1623, when it terminates abruptly. 

The disappointment felt by the Duke at the fruitlessness 
of his family friendship with the crown of Spain was 
removed by receiving, towards the close of 1582, a military 
commission from his Catholic Majesty. This was the only 
relic of the condottiere system that survived the changes 
of the sixteenth century upon the political and military 
aspect of Europe. It was the intervening link between 
mercenary bands of the middle ages and standing armies 
of modern times. No plan could have better suited all 
parties. The great powers were thus enabled to command 
on sudden exigencies an ample force, without waste of 
time or treasure. The petty sovereigns by it eked out 
their inadequate revenues, without further burden to their 
subjects than an occasional call upon the military services 
of those who regarded arms as a pastime, and whose rest- 
less spirits, if not thus employed, would have been danger- 
ous at home. The people, without abandoning the arts of 
peace, reaped a portion of the fruits of war. These 
benefits were, indeed, purchased by a surrender of the 
last vestige of independence, for the salary paid to the 
princes in name of stipend was, in fact, the price of their 
political subserviency. Yet it was but a nominal com- 
promise, to sell the shadow when the substance had long 
departed ; and we find the example of Spain in retaining 
friends throughout La Marca, for pecuniary considerations, 
recommended for the imitation of Venice by one of her 
ambassadors about this very time. The conditions of the 
Duke's service were an annual pay of I2,0(X) scudi, which, 
in 1599, was augmented to 15,000, a company of men-at- 
arms in the kingdom of Naples, and ample protection in 
all his undertakings ; in return for which he was bound to 
provide, when called upon by Philip II., three thousand 
militia, and to take the field with them when his Majesty 

1582] DUKES OF URBINO 157 

appeared there in person. The amount of troops thus 
actually raised in the duchy for the Spanish service during 
the next thirty years has been calculated at seven thousand 
two hundred men, a sufficient proof that the benefits 
accruing from the arrangement were mutual. The Pope 
now granted Francesco Maria the honourable prefix of 
" Most Serene " to the title of Highness, which he had 
enjoyed in common with other minor sovereigns, a distinc- 
tion said to have been accorded with difficulty, and after 
long entreaty. The establishment of a Swiss guard is 
another illustration of his partiality at this period to 
pomps which he subsequently little esteemed. 

In the following year, the court of Pesaro was enlivened 
by the Princess Lavinia's nuptials with Felice d' Avalos, 
Marquis del Vasto, when twelve poetesses were said to 
have tuned their lyres at the Imperiale, in honour of the 
joyous occasion. His marriage presents to his bride, 
mentioned in her brother's Diary, consisted of a necklace 
of jewels, a bag or muff of sable skin — the head and feet 
studded with precious stones, called a zebellino, and similar 
to that represented in Titian's beautiful portrait of her 
grandmother. Duchess Leonora, — a set of fan-sticks, a gem 
mounted as a sun, two pearls for ear-drops, a diamond 
cross and eagle, and an order for 3000 scudi : the whole 
was valued at 10,000 scudi. The happy pair spent some 
months at the court of Urbino, while the Marquis often 
joined the hunting parties from Castel Durante. But the 
sun that rose thus brightly was soon clouded by his 
wretched and tyrannical temper, which embittered his 
consort's life. Many years after, she married, in her 
widowhood, the gallant Marquis of Pescara, her brother's 
long-tried friend, and, finally, with her two daughters, 
sought repose and peace in the convent of Sta. Chiara at 
Urbino, where she died in 1633. In the end of 1583 the 
Duke began to build the Vedetta, on the most command- 
ing eminence of Monte Bartolo, which he had obtained for 

158 MEMOIRS OF THE [1586 

this purpose from the Gerolimini convent. Of this casino 
only the foundation remains, but it would seem to have 
been an appendage of the Imperiale palace, whither the 
court ascended in the summer heats, to inhale gentle 
breezes from the blue Adriatic, which sparkled some 
hundred feet beneath. For such a purpose no spot could 
have been better chosen, and the magnificent prospect, 
which we have elsewhere noticed without attempting to 
describe, renders it probably the most attractive site in all 
the fair duchy. 

As a further mark of favour, Philip 1 1, of Spain sent him, in 
1586, the decoration of the Golden Fleece; and in order to 
confer it in manner at once honourable and complimentary 
to his personal feelings, his Majesty requested the investi- 
ture to be given him by his uncle the Duke of Parma. 
That Duke was then suffering from gout, and drawing 
towards his death, which occurred in the following autumn ; 
so Francesco Maria showed respect at once for the King 
and for his relation, whom he revered as a parent, by 
proceeding to meet him at Bologna. The two princely 
guests were magnificently entertained by the authorities 
of that city, as well as by the Cardinal Legate Salviati and 
the Archbishop Palotta : they were lodged in the palace 
of the latter, who performed high mass in the cathedral at 
the investiture. The collar and girdle of the order were 
set with brilliants, and were accompanied by a rich present 
of jewels to the Duchess, consisting of four hundred and 
twenty-six pearls, and a handsome necklace, girdle, two 
pendants, and sixty buttons, all enamelled in red and 
white upon gold, and studded with diamonds. 

Although, on the whole, a more popular sovereign than 
his father, we have seen Francesco Maria subjected, in the 
early years of his reign, to seditious movements on the 
part of some discontented nobles. Of a similar attempt in 
1586, few particulars have been preserved ; but this notice 
of it in his Diary exhibits him as a stern dispenser of 




justice. " Count Giovanni de' Thomasi was beheaded in 
the fortress of Pesaro for homicide, sedition, and bad 
service towards his master : he died as a Christian and a 
brave man, and may God pardon his sins." But, though 
of hard, and even stern manners, the Duke retained the 
affection of his household, most of whom remained long in 
his service. From a catalogue of the chief officers at his 
court, compiled by Lazzari, we learn the emoluments 
belonging to the principal places. 


The superintendent of the household had yearly . 1000 

The master of the chamber .... 


The master of the household 


The gentlemen cuirassiers . 


The chamberlains ..... 


The sewer or carver for visitors . 


The philosopher or dilettante of poetry 


The physician 


The chaplain ..... 


The auditors or judges 


The eight counsellors .... 


The chief secretary .... 


The secretary of justice 


The treasurer 


The fiscal advocate .... 


The captains of the guard . 


The commandants of garrisons . 


The castellans, besides perquisites 


The ambassador to Spain . 


The ambassador to Venice 


The agent in Rome .... 


Francesco Maria had now reached the flower of man- 
hood, and this may be considered the most fortunate 
period of his reign. During the next twelve years no 
untoward incident interrupted the smooth current of his 
life, or the prosperity of his government. The healthful 
exercise of the chase constituted his favourite relaxation 
from the cares of state, and his Diary preserves more 
minute information on this than on any other topic. He 

i6o MEMOIRS OF THE [1588 

had within reach of Pesaro eighteen preserves, stocked 
with roe-deer, goats, foxes, hares, pheasants, and partridges, 
all of which were, in those days, considered fair game. 
The more exciting sport of wild-boar was found in 
greatest perfection near Mondolfo, and the following 
entry occurs in January, 1588. "Hunted in the chase 
of S. Costanzo, and, in three hours, killed nine wild 
boars, weighing 2580 lbs., besides offal. The largest one 
weighed overhead 917 lbs. We cut off its head close 
behind the ears, and hung it in the castle window 
over the great street of Mondolfo ; its weight was 
59^ lbs." 

But red deer were the Duke's noblest and favourite 
sport, which, being only found in the highlands of his 
duchy, was his original attraction to Castel Durante, 
whence the best forest coverts were easily accessible. It 
was on that account selected as his chief residence during 
his father's life, and continued his annual resort in autumn 
so long as he could follow the game. When increasing 
years precluded such pastimes, we shall find that he there 
provided other appliances more befitting his circumstances, 
and that these preserved for Castel Durante a partiality 
which increased to the latest hours of his life. He was 
in use there to spend the autumnal months, returning to 
Pesaro before the carnival, and moving to Urbino towards 
midsummer. In the interval from the 7th of September, 
1588, till the end of the following January, twenty-eight 
hunting parties are mentioned in his Journal, at some of 
which wolves and smaller game were killed. Red deer 
must have been in great abundance : thus, November, 
1587, "We killed a dozen, six of them males, the largest 
weighing 464 lbs., besides 380 lbs. of offal. We left Castel 
Durante about noon, and returned at dusk, after losing 
nearly an hour in watching a hind which took refuge in 
the broken ground of the Lady's Park, when fell dead the 
famous hound Box-cur, the only British one I had. The 

1589] DUKES OF URBINO 161 

twelve deer weighed 2914 lbs., without offal." In the subse- 
quent season, "hunted red deer in the valley of S. Martino 
with greyhounds, but without canvas or nets. Saw twelve, 
and chased five of them ; but, though the dogs came up 
with them, they were not able to hold any." The park 
which he had inclosed in the beautiful vale of the Metauro, 
just out of Castel Durante, was stocked with fallow-deer : 
which, however, seem to have been kept chiefly for orna- 
ment, though occasionally resorted to for greyhound 
coursing, when age had relaxed his limbs for the rougher 
mountain sport. The last hunting party he mentions 
was in 1615. 

Though reserved in manner, and little apt to indulge 
his court in amusements uncongenial with his own un- 
social temperament, he sometimes relaxed so far as to 
have dancing fetes at the Imperiale, where he mentions 
three hundred ladies as having on one occasion been pre- 
sent. The representation of comedies was a frequent 
carnival pastime. The manner of conducting these 
theatricals, and the methodical punctuality of the Duke's 
character, are at once illustrated in the following extract. 
In February, 1589, "a comedy by the late Maestro Fabio 
Bagnano was recited in the great hall of Pesaro, begin- 
ning at 4 p.m. The first act lasted an hour and ten 
minutes ; after which came an interlude for twenty 
minutes, from the fable of Ulysses hearing his wanderings 
foretold by Tiresias ; then act second, in fifty minutes, 
with a musical interlude for ten minutes ; then act third, 
in half-an-hour, with, for interlude, the marriage of Eolus 
and Deiopeia, in twelve minutes ; then act fourth, in forty- 
eight minutes, and its musical interlude, in seven minutes; 
lastly, act fifth, in thirty-eight minutes, with its interlude 
of the gods allotting their various dominions ; but this 
was not finished in consequence of a cloud which, by 
some mismanagement, did not descend properly." Among 
the performances noted about this period are the comedies 

III. — M 

i62 MEMOIRS OF THE [1589 

of / falsi Sospetti by Pino ; another by the CavaHere 
Ludovico Odasio, / Suppositi ; and an eclogue entitled 
La Myrtia. The interludes between the acts were fre- 
quently moresque dances or ballets representing mytho- 
logical subjects, such as the fable of Prometheus, that of 
Calisto, the birth of Venus ; varied by more familiar 
themes, as hunting the owl. In 1597, we find noticed, 
among other gay doings during carnival, a tournament in 
the great hall of Pesaro, wherein ten or twelve knights ran 
each three courses, and which was followed by an exhibi- 
tion of various pleasing conceits. 

Of Francesco Maria's literary pursuits we have various 
pleasing memorials. Not satisfied with the valuable 
library of MSS. that had descended to him from the 
Feltrian dukes, he formed another of standard printed 
works. Indeed, he became an assiduous book collector ; 
and the letters of his librarian Benedetto Benedetti, in the 
Oliveriana Library, are full of lists which his agents in 
Venice, Florence, and even Frankfort are urged to supply. 
In his own voluminous correspondence, we find constant 
offers from authors of dedications or copies of their pro- 
ductions, the tone of which is highly complimentary to 
his taste for letters. In 1603, the Archbishop of Mon- 
reale, in Spain, transmits him the regulations he proposed 
to prescribe in bequeathing his library to a seminary he 
had founded in his diocese, expressing a hope that they 
might prove useful to the Duke's collection, " at this 
moment without parallel in the world." ^ Instead of 
quoting the vague testimony of courtly compliment, as to 
the use which this philosophic Prince made of these 
acquisitions, let us cite the brief records of his studies, 
preserved in his own Diary. In 1585, "terminated an 
inspection of the whole works of Aristotle, on which I 
have laboured no less than fifteen years, having had them 
generally read to me by Maestro Cesare Benedetti, of 

1 Bibl. Oliveriana, No. 375, vol. XI., p. 204. 

1589] DUKES OF URBINO 163 

Pesaro." But his reading was not limited to such specu- 
lative topics, and we presently find him imbibing know- 
ledge from a purer source. In 1587, " I finished my 
examination of the whole Bible, with various com- 
mentaries, on which I have spent three years and ten 
months." Again, on the " 1 5th of December, 1 598, completed 
my second perusal of the entire Bible, which I read this 
time with the commentary of Dionysio the Carthusian, 
occupying upon it eight years." A curious inference of 
the contemplative character of his mind may be drawn 
from the devices he successively assumed as emblematic 
of his feelings. In youth he used a flame vanishing into 
air, with the motto Qtiies in sublime, " There is rest on 
high : " after he succeeded to the dukedom, he took a 
terrestrial globe with the legend Ponderibus librata suis, 
" Self-poised." 

The position of Pesaro, on the principal high road to 
Loreto and Rome, exposed it to the constant passage of 
travellers of all ranks. The former was the habitual 
resort of Roman Catholics, to whom holy impulses, the 
hope of any specific blessing, or gratitude for mercies 
vouchsafed, suggested an unusual devotional observance. 
The annual functions of Easter, St. Peter's day, and 
Christmas, besides the great occasional jubilees, attracted 
to the latter crowds of pious pilgrims from all Christen- 
dom. The dukes were thus laid open to frequent calls 
upon their hospitality, which the state maintained by 
passing visitors often rendered most onerous. Thus, in 
1589, Duke Alfonso II. of Ferrara, on his way to and 
from Loreto, spent four days at Pesaro, with his suite, 
consisting of fifty carriages, and one hundred and fifty 
mounted attendants, at an expense to his host of 3000 
scudi. All royal pilgrims did not, however, thus mingle 
worldly pomp with religious duties : ten years after, 
Ranuccio, Duke of Parma, arrived incognito, in company 
with three others, who wore red sack dresses, and travelled 

i64 MEMOIRS OF THE [1589 

on foot. After passing the night at Pesaro, they pro- 
ceeded to Sinigaglia, on their way to the opening of the 
holy door at Rome, in the jubilee of 1600. Eighteen 
years later, Francesco Maria's Diary thus notes a more 
interesting visit: "9th June, 161 8, the Galileo arrived at 
Pesaro, on his return from Loreto to Florence." The 
philosopher was then resident at the Villa Segni, near 
his native capital, and suffered much from the effects of 
a chronic illness caught in Lombardy some years pre- 
viously, while sleeping with an open window. Perhaps 
his pilgrimage to the holy house may have been in- 
fluenced by this circumstance. 

" 'Twas he who, risking life and fame to crush 
The idol-worship that enslaved mankind, 
Restored its native freedom to the mind." 

In October, 1597, the direct line of the dukes of Ferrara 
closed on the death of Alfonso II., whose object had been 
to secure to his cousin Cesare, Marquis of Montecchio, 
the succession of his states, as well as his private heritage. 
He had been able to obtain from the Emperor a new 
investiture in his favour of Modena, Reggio, and Carpi, 
but failed in procuring the like boon from Gregory XIV. 
as to the Ferrarese holding. Immediately upon the 
vacancy, Cesare assumed the dukedom, with full consent 
of his people, who dreaded the descent to provincial rank 
which must have followed upon their annexation to the 
papal state. Clement VIII., who then filled the chair of 
St. Peter, answered a conciliatory embassy sent him by 
the claimant, with a summons to appear at Rome, and, on 
his non-compliance, thundered excommunication against 
him and his abettors. These decided steps were followed 
up by a levy of nearly thirty thousand men, but ere they 
could be brought into the field, Cesare d' Este gained some 
partial successes near Bologna. Finding, however, that 
his position was hopeless, he availed himself of the media- 

1598] DUKES OF URBINO 165 

tion of Lucrezia Duchess of Urbino, who succeeded in 
reconciling him with the Legate. The devolution of 
Ferrara to the Holy See was harmoniously completed in 
February ; but the lady has been accused of sacrificing 
the interests of her cousin to an old grudge against his 
father, and to a promise of the fief of Bertinoro. She did 
not, however, live to receive the bribe, and her death is 
thus dryly noted in her husband's Diary : — 

" February 14th, I sent the Abb6 Brunetti to Ferrara, to 
visit the Duchess, my wife, who was sick. 

" 15th, Heard that Madame Lucrezia d' Este, 

Duchess of Urbino, my wife, died at Ferrara during the 
night of the nth. 

" 19, The Abbe Brunetti returned from Ferrara." 

In his Memoirs she is the subject of still more brief 
remark : — " Her death occurred after some years, leaving 
him [the Duke] executor by her will of many pious be- 
quests." Considering that the largest bequest was in his 
own favour, a less chilling notice might have been be- 
stowed ! The sum she left him was 30,000 scudi : to her 
various attendants and servants she gave 12,000 in small 
legacies, and 20,000 among several convents, in masses 
for her soul. There was also a fund to be mortified for 
the endowment of poor girls, half at Ferrara and half at 
Urbino, and Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, the Pope's 
nephew, was named residuary legatee, a selection which 
has been ingeniously ascribed to the countenance bestowed 
by his family on Tasso, in the closing scenes of that 
minstrel's troubled life. 

The anxiety which had long been generally felt on the 
prospect of a failure of the ducal family began to show 
itself after the death of Lucrezia. The impediment of 
a childless marriage having thus been providentially re- 
moved, men's hopes were again awakened, and their 
wishes were not long in finding a unanimous expression. 
When Francesco Maria appeared in public, his ears were 

i66 MEMOIRS OF THE [1598 

greeted with murmurs from the populace, which at length 
broke out in enthusiastic demands for his marriage, and 
Serenissimo, moglie, " A wife, your Highness," became the 
universal cry.*^ The ferment thus created was greatly 
increased by a circumstance which at first sight does not 
appear much connected with the welfare of the duchy. In 
the spring of 1598, Clement VI 1 1., on his passage to 
take possession of Ferrara, paid a visit to the court of 
Pesaro, where the magnificent reception accorded him, 
and the long confidential interviews he had with the Duke, 
were construed by popular jealousy into preparatives for 
political changes. The extinction of the reigning line 
would infer a lapse of their sovereignty to the Pope, 
similar to that which had just degraded Ferrara : Fran- 
cesco Maria's disinclination for state-toils had already 
begun to show itself: the readiness of his Holiness to 
secure so valuable a reversion, or even to anticipate it by 
providing for the Duke an honourable retreat from duties 
which he considered onerous, scarcely admitted of a doubt, 
an appetite for annexation being naturally whetted by 
the recent acquisition of territory. These ideas became 
a theme of discussion among the multitudes who crowded 
from all quarters of the state to witness the courtly 
shows at Pesaro ; and when the Duke returned to the 
city from escorting the Pope towards Ferrara, he was met 
at the gate by a host of his subjects, whose loyalty and 
patriotism burst forth afresh in tumultuous shouts of 
" Serenissimo ! moglie!^ 

That the object of Clement's visit had been faithfully 
construed by the general voice seems more than probable 
from the document we are about to quote ; but upon this 
point the Memoirs throw no light. They merely notice 
his reception of the Pontiff with all distinction, and the 
remarkably friendly bearing of his Holiness towards him- 
self and the Duchess mother during a day spent at their 

*^ Cf. CalogerA, Mernqrie concernenti Franc. Maria II. (Venice, 1776). 

1598] DUKES OF URBINO 167 

court : mutual presents passed between them, and Clement 
dwelt on the good service which his father had afforded 
to Duke Guidobaldo. From the Duke's Diary we learn 
that after meeting his Holiness on his southern frontier, 
and again escorting him out of Sinigaglia, where he had 
slept with a suite of sixteen cardinals, he took boat and 
hastened to Pesaro. Next morning he proceeded to meet 
his visitor, who had spent the night at Fano, and wel- 
comed him to his capital. Passing back to Rome in the 
end of the year, the Pope halted at Pesaro only to say 
mass in the cathedral ; and on both occasions he was 
preceded one day by the Holy Sacrament. In the follow- 
ing year the Pontiff, in acknowledgment, perhaps, of 
these hospitalities, accorded to his host a dispensation, 
whereby the indulgences, to which the use of certain 
rosary prayers and ave maria's entitled him, were united 
and concentrated in a single cavalliere} 

The predominant feeling of Francesco Maria, even at 
this period of his life, appears to have been a selfish 
attachment to solitary habits and pursuits, tempered by 
sincere anxiety to discharge his public duties for the 
benefit of his people. An argument addressing itself to 
both motives readily occurred to the wily Pontiff. An 
immediate abdication would secure to the Duke personal 
ease, and the consequent devolution of his government 
to the Camera ApostoHca might be guarded by stipula- 
tions for the public weal, which such voluntary demission 
alone could entitle him to dictate. The art with which 
these considerations had been urged, and the impression 
they made upon the Duke, may be best gathered from a 
circular he addressed to the magistrates of each city in 

^ Rosaries, corone, and such were helpmates or promptuaries to prayer, 
differing in form and varying in supposed efficacy, according to the special 
privileges and indulgences bestowed on them by ecclesiastical gift. A 
specimen of the nature and powers of such indulgences will be found in the 
description of a corona belonging to the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1666. 
See Appendix VI, 

i68 MEMOIRS OF THE [1598 

his state, curiously exemplifying him in that character of 
royal philosopher which it seems to have been his ambition 
to attain.*^ 

" Most magnificent and well-beloved, 

" Ever since we understood that you so affectionately 
long for the continuation and maintenance of our house, 
we have had no wish more urgent than to conform to your 
desires ; and although for some time past we have been 
always anxious to facilitate this resolution, yet the more we 
consider it, the greater do the difficulties daily appear, not 
only by reason of our age and infirmities, but much more 
from the obligation laid upon us to take no step that 
might turn to your prejudice, as we know this would do : 
for, upon weighing the advantages that would accrue to 
you by being placed after our death immediately under 
the sway of the Church, there cannot, in our opinion, be a 
doubt that this would be most beneficial ; since, besides 
being rid of the present inconvenient restrictions on trade 
in grain, salt, oil, and similar commodities, you might well 
hope, from a sovereign so powerful as his Holiness, many 
exemptions and facilities which we, however well-disposed, 
cannot, with due attention to the suitable maintenance of 
our rank, accord you. Wherefore, we exhort and pray 
you, to take all this into your most serious consideration ; 
and, along with it, those suggestions which your affection- 
ate devotion may prompt, in conjunction with our delicate 
and advanced age, as these might, at all events, render 
vain the hope of a succession, or at least might occasion 
you to be some day left under a minority (ever a judg- 
ment of God upon a nation), and us to die with such pain 
as you may conceive the predicament of leaving a minor 
would occasion us: whereas, on the other hand, were we to 
remain in our present condition, looking, so long as God 

*^ Cf. Reposati, Delia Zccca di Giibbio, vol. II., p. 220 (Bologna, 
^772-3)- The date of this letter was June 7th, 1598. 

1598] DUKES OF URBINO 169 

may vouchsafe us life, for no other children than your- 
selves, we might the more diligently apply to the cares of 
our government. It is therefore our desire that you satisfy 
yourselves in this matter, and, after having prayed in all 
sincerity to our Lord and Saviour for His inspiration, that 
you convoke a full meeting of your usual council, ex- 
cluding all officers of our government, and that, after 
reading to them this our letter, they should decide by 
ballot what they judge most fitting for the common weal, 
having sworn the consuls to conceal nothing of the resolu- 
tion they come to ; and you shall report their decision to 
the Bishop of this city, who, keeping it secret from us and 
all others, shall declare only the general result of this ap- 
peal to you and to the other principal places of our state, 
to whom we write in similar terms : and the opinion so 
expressed we shall, in accordance to our love towards 
you, endeavour to carry Into effect even at the hazard of 
our life, thus appealing to the faithful attachment you have 
ever displayed towards our house and ourselves, as is well 
known to all, but chiefly to us. — May it, therefore, please the 
blessed God so to inspire you, that these our exhortations 
and commands may be executed so as to bring about the 
best results, and may He preserve you. From Pesaro, 
7th June, 1598. "FRANCESCO Maria." 

The consequence of this singular appeal was a unani- 
mous and urgent resolution in favour of the Duke's imme- 
diate marriage ; indeed nothing else could well be looked 
for, the alternative contemplated by the people being loss 
of their independence, and the substitution of a foreign 
legate, changed every few years, for a hereditary and 
popular sovereign. Passeri conjectures that this result 
was in fact less distasteful to Francesco Maria than the 
tone of his letter might infer ; and that the whole expe- 
dient was adopted in order to obtain a satisfactory answer 
to the importunities of the Pontiff", whom the stern mea- 


sures lately adopted towards Ferrara had rendered the 
Duke peculiarly averse to thwart, by opposition to his 
scheme. From the Memoirs so often quoted, we learn 
nothing beyond the obvious facts, that the marriage was 
undertaken in compliance with urgent entreaties of the 
Duchess mother and of the people of Urbino, and that the 
bride was his own choice. 

Of Cardinal Giulio della Rovere's two natural sons we 
have already spoken.^ In the correspondence of Francesco 
Maria, there occur some proofs of a bad understanding be- 
tween him and these cousins, the origin and circumstances 
of which it is unnecessary to examine. To Ippolito Mar- 
quis of S. Lorenzo, there was born in 1585, of his marriage 
with Isabella Vitelli, Princess dell' Amatrice in the Abruzzi, 
a daughter Livia, who was educated in the convent of Sta. 
Caterina at Pesaro ; and on her fell the choice of Francesco 
Maria, as announced in the following extract of a letter to 
the Archduchess Maria of Austria. A selection so ob- 
viously ineligible may have been dictated in part by that 
shrinking from close contact with strangers which his re- 
served habits were calculated to generate, and partly too 
by the sad experience he had already reaped of a marriage 
of state policy. 

" Moved by the unremitting entreaties of my subjects, 
I have been forced to establish myself by a new alliance : 
yet as my age and other considerations would have pre- 
vented me from taking this resolution but for their satis- 
faction, I have chosen to combine with their wishes a due 
consideration for my own, by selecting one of my proper 
blood, and brought up in this country, in whom are com- 
bined many of the qualities suited to my views." 

Of the domestic life of Francesco Maria after his 

second union no record has been preserved to us. The 

circumstances in which it was effected were not such as to 

promise a high degree of matrimonial felicity, to which 

^ Above, p. S2. 

1599] DUKES OF URBINO 171 

his cold nature, advanced age, and reserved character were 
virtually impediments. Nor could the monotonous se- 
clusion of his habits be attractive to a youthful bride, 
transported from a convent to the rank of sovereignty 
with few of its gauds. That she had the good sense 
simply to conform to her position may be inferred from 
the rare occurrence of her name in the documents which 
I have inspected. The brief notices of her in her hus- 
band's Diary merely prove that they were seldom apart, 
and in one instance she is mentioned as accompanying 
him to his favourite pastime of deer hunting. Regarding 
preliminaries for their marriage, that record is silent, and 
the only allusion to it is in this concise phrase : " 26th 
April, 1599, I married the Lady Livia della Rovere." 
But letters of the Duchess, written long subsequently, to 
her grand-daughter, of which a specimen will be intro- 
duced below, exhibit her character in a light so amiable as 
to warrant our regret that it has not been more promi- 
nently brought into view, in the few materials which we 
possess for this portion of our narrative. 

Francesco Maria's affection to his mother would have 
been beautiful in any rank. Besides anxiously providing 
for her comfort by a suitable establishment, he made her 
his friend and confidante through life; and during his 
first m.arriage she filled at his court the place which in 
happier circumstances would have been occupied by his 
wife. The ailments of her advancing years he tended 
with affectionate anxiety, and thus notices her decease on 
the 13th December, 1602, after a long indisposition. 
" Most deep was the public grief for the loss of this excel- 
lent and sainted Princess. She was beloved by all, but 
most by her son, who felt her death as no common sorrow, 
and testified both in public and in private the sincerity of 
his feelings. Her funeral oration, pronounced by Leoni, 
was very fine, though his praises necessarily fell far short 
of her real merits," The Venetian Relazioni from the 


della Rovere court bear witness to her sound judgment 
and business habits, to her generous disposition and 
beneficent charities, as well as to the piety of her 
character, and the exemplary conduct observed by her 

Her remains were interred by those of her husband, 
with an epitaph which will be found in No. VH. of the 
Appendix, and her son appears from his Diary to have 
worn mourning for her for upwards of a year. 



Birth of Prince Federigo — The Duke's retired habits and aversion to business 
— His constitution-making experiments — His instructions to his son — The 
Prince's unfortunate education and character. 

^ALTHOUGH the patriotism and loyalty of his 
/^L people had been gratified by the gracious 

/ ■ ^ manner in which he had assented to their 
-A» .^- eager desire for his marriage, yet was there 
wanting somewhat to the full fruition of their cherished 
hopes. The health of the Duchess was watched with 
anxiety, and when months had passed away without the 
promise of an heir, apprehensions more restless than 
before spread over the land. In a matter beyond the 
limits of human will, recourse was had to the Dispenser of 
all events. Prayers were offered up in public and private. 
Vows were solemnly registered by all the towns, by con- 
fraternities, even by village communities and private in- 
dividuals, for the erection and dedication of churches and 
altars, especially to S. Ubaldo, once bishop of Gubbio, 
who had been assumed as special protector of that city 
and of the race of Montefeltro. About the beginning of 
1605, it was announced that these devotional appeals had 
been crowned with success : the gloomy anticipations of 
the citizens were turned to joyous hope ; and so formidable 
to the public tranquillity did the reaction of enthusiasm 
appear, that orders were issued for transporting into the 
fortress of Pesaro all the state archives, in case any tumult 
or conflagration might endanger their safety. 

As the Duchess's confinement drew near, the subject 
seemed exclusively to engross men's minds, and when her 


174 MEMOIRS OF THE [1605 

hour was reported to have arrived, the piazza in front of 
the palace was crowded with an impatient multitude, who 
remained a day and night in eager expectation. At 
length, on the morning of the i6th of May, the festival of 
the patron saint Ubaldo, to whom their prayers had been 
addressed, about nine o'clock, the Duke appeared at 
a window of the great hall, and announced with a loud 
and clear voice, " God has vouchsafed us a boy ! " The 
cheer of joyous triumph which rang through the palace- 
yards was but an inadequate expression of the general 
exultation, and the precautions taken to preserve the 
peace proved but too limited ; for the insensate popular 
excitement vented itself in an attack upon the Jews' 
quarter, and succeeded in sacking and burning their syna- 
gogue and shops, in spite of exertions by the military, 
who had been held in readiness to quell the outbreak. 
Meanwhile salvoes of artillery proclaimed the Prince's 
advent ; and in grateful acknowledgment of his good 
fortune, his father proclaimed pardon to many prisoners, 
and favours to various classes of his subjects. At the 
same time, with due regard to good order, he checked the 
longer continuance of noisy and tumultuous festivity, and 
in particular prohibited discharges of fire-arms under the 
heavy penalty of 100 scudi. 

Any scepticism which might have been secretly enter- 
tained of the infant being truly a dieu-donne, in special 
answer to the thousand prayers that had been proffered 
to or through S. Ubaldo, was removed or silenced by his 
arrival on the fete of that saint whose hold on the de- 
votional feelings of the people was thus marvellously 
riveted. Among the couriers speedily despatched over 
the duchy to bear boot and spur the happy news, one 
directed to Gubbio, the city and diocese of S. Ubaldo, was 
charged with a special letter from Francesco Maria.* ^ 

*^ Cf. Pellegrini, op cit., in Boll, cit., vol. cit., p. 506 et seq._ There 
seems always to have been an antagonism between Gubbio and Uibino, and 

i6o5] DUKES OF URBINO 175 

Arriving in hot haste, he found the whole population 
assembled in arms in the piazza, with the magistrates at 
their head, to whom he delivered the welcome missive ; 
after publication of which the multitude formed a solemn 
procession to the cathedral, to render thanksgivings to 
S. Ubaldo, its and their protector. In that church the 
community of Gubbio lost no time in erecting a new 
chapel commemorative of the occasion, and placed on the 
altar a picture, in which the Madonna and Child smile 
benignantly on the suppliant saints, John Baptist and 
Ubaldo (the former their original patron), whilst in the 
lower part is seen the courier's arrival with the ducal 
despatch. Other places were scarcely less enthusiastic in 
redeeming their pious pledges, though enthusiasm seems 
to have been occasionally tempered by meaner considera- 
tions. Thus, in the communal records of S. Angelo in 
Vado, I found appeals from the Duke to quicken the 
tardy contribution of 500 scudi towards the erection of 
a votive church to S. Ubaldo ; and months were spent in 
discussions among the magistracy how that sum was to 
be raised, by an assessment upon the artisans, and a duty 
upon butcher-meat. I know not whether we are to regard 
as an economical solution of the difficulty an altar picture 
in the church of S. Filippo there, in which S. Ubaldo is 
represented as introducing to the Madonna and Child the 
young Prince, led up by S. Crescenzio, the patron of 
Urbino, while St. John Baptist intercedes in his behalf 
Federigo seems a child about five years old, in a very 
richly embroidered dress, and strongly resembles a portrait 
of him which came into my hands from the Vatican 
Library, and which is here introduced.^ 

now Gubbio could certainly crow. She appears to have done so. See note 2, 
p. 506, of work quoted. The country was not quiet after the rejoicing till 
May 30th, the festa being kept in all the cities. Corradi, Feste per il 
nascimento di tin Principe nel sec XVII. in // Giornale di Foligno (Foligno, 
1887), No. 28 et seq. describes the rejoicing in Cagli. 

^ In 1843-6, a variety of duplicates and objects of art belonging to the 
Vatican Library were exchanged away, with the sanction of Gregory XVI., 

176 MEMOIRS OF THE [1605 

According to the religious usages of the age, the 
measure of gratitude due by the sovereigns of Urbino for 
their long desired heir would have remained incomplete 
without a pilgrimage of thanksgiving to the Madonna of 
Loreto. Benedetto Benedetti, librarian to the Duke, 
writes, on the 20th June, 1605,^ that the Duchess was to 
set out next day on this holy mission, "carrying with her 
a plate of solid gold, the size of a half sheet of writing 
paper, on which was portrayed in oil by a young pupil of 
Baroccio the infant Prince, who is one of the most lovely 
babes I should wish to look upon ; fat, of good com- 
plexion, and comely features, his eyes large and black, 
unlike those of the Duke, and his mouth resembling his 
mother's." It appears, however, from the Diary of Fran- 
cesco Maria, that he had alread}' acquitted himself of this 
pious debt by attending the festival of the Corpus Domini 
at Loreto on the 9th of June. On the 29th the Duchess 
carried her son to Urbino. At the gate they were met by 
twelve youths in blue damask trimmed with gold, and 
twenty-four children in white and gold ; and the Prince, 
with his nurse, was borne by these youths in a close chair 
to the palace, through streets embellished with fountains 
and other ornaments. 

Three days after the child's birth he had been privately 
baptised by the Bishop of Pesaro on Ascension Day, and 
named Federigo Ubaldo Giuseppe. His public baptism 
took place on the 29th November at Urbino, on which 
occasion his father, in deference to the loyal joy of his 
subjects, broke through his wonted habits of quiet and 
retirement, and celebrated the solemnity with a pomp 
more congenial to the pageant observances of Italian 

whilst my lamented friend Monsignoie Laureani, the librarian, was forming, 
by that Pontiff's order, from very limited resources, a most interesting series 
of early panel pictures illustrating the progress of Christian painting. The 
portrait of Prince Federigo now belongs to my friend Andrew Coventry, Esq. , 
Edinburgh, and appears the production of a scholar of Baroccio. 
^ Oliveriana MSS. No. 375. 

i6os) DUKES OF URBINO 177 

courts than to his own tastes. Every community of the 
duchy, by special invitation, sent their deputies, expen- 
sively arrayed, and bearing costly gifts. The states of 
Italy likewise were there, represented by ambassadors 
rivalling each other in magnificence. But chief among all 
was the Marquis of Pescara, envoy of Philip III, of Spain, 
who, before its birth, had promised to stand godfather to 
the infant. We pass over the ceremonial with which he 
was welcomed, but must pause for a little upon the 
spectacle of the baptism, as described in a contemporary 

From the houses in front of the Duomo were displayed 
those rich and many-tinted hangings which add so much 
to the effect of an Italian pageant. The short space from 
the palace was closed in by an awning of green, red, and 
white, the ducal liveries. The whole interior of the church 
was hung with magnificent decorations, in which were 
mingled tapestries and brocades, pictures and heraldic 
blazonry. The high altar was profusely furnished with 
statues, vases, candlesticks, all of solid silver. Into the 
cathedral thus prepared was seen advancing, about two 
hours before mid-day, under a bright and genial sun, a 
most imposing procession. The principal public function- 
aries, and the most distinguished of the nobility, were 
followed by twenty-five pages of high birth, dressed in 
Damascus blue. Then came representatives of the seven 
principal cities, bearing the massive silver vessels to be 
used in the ceremony. At their head walked Count 
Alessandro Tiane, Gonfaloniere of Urbino, conspicuous 
not less by his handsome person than by the rare 
splendour of his costume. He wore a close-fitting dress 
of white, brocaded with gold and silver ; his flowing 
mantle of purple velvet was lined with violet and gold ; 
and on his neck and cap was displayed a profusion of 
costly jewels. A scarf embroidered with pearls and 

1 Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 8i8, f. 444. 
III.— N 

178 MEMOIRS OF THE [1605 

precious stones suspended from his neck a white cushion, 
whereon lay the babe in " toys of quaint apparel," which 
the writer attempts not to describe. The nurse, attended 
by sixty noble matrons arrayed in gala, closed the cortege, 
amid the clang of artillery and martial music. The sacred 
rite was administered by the Bishop of Fossombrone, and 
the religious function having been auspiciously ended, the 
company proceeded to a ball, followed by a supper, where 
the grotesque taste and elaborate ingenuity of Italian 
confectioners were lavishly displayed in the table-orna- 

About seven in the evening, the guests were summoned 
by trumpet to the windows and balconies to witness a 
triumphal representation of the glories of Duke Federigo, 
whose name had that day been revived in the infant 
Prince. The space in front of the palace was fitted up as 
a vast stage laid out with woodland scenery, in the midst 
whereof rose a mountain, emblematic of the Apennines. 
Near its summit a cavern exhibited antique trophies and 
elephants, among which was a broken bust of Asdrubal, 
allusive to the defeat of the Carthaginian army near the 
Furlo pass. The whole was overshadowed by two vast 
oaks personifying the Duke and Duchess, under which 
were grouped shepherds playing on their national instru- 
ments. Across this mimic representation of the duchy of 
Urbino a gorgeous procession passed with military music, 
in the following order. The car of Fame advanced, 
glittering with the precious metals, and drawn by winged 
horses. On its front, amid garlands of flowers, was perched 
a black eagle crowned, the monarch of birds, and heraldic 
bearing of Montefeltro ; and it contained figures of Fame, 
Time, and Truth. Fame stood winged upon a globe, to 
which were yoked two dolphins ; her robe of gold and 
silver tissue was seme with countless eyes, ears, and mouths, 
and in her hand she held a golden trumpet. Before her 
sat old Time, with his hour-glass ; behind, Truth chanted 

i6o5] DUKES OF URBINO i79 

stanzas in compliment to the hero of two mottoes which 
were displayed over the car : — 



In the procession which followed, were borne the armo- 
rial insignia of Duke Federigo, and of the sovereigns in 
close alliance with him ; his various decorations of knight- 
hood, the golden rose, the sword and baton of the Church, 
and similar badges of his dignities. Then came another 
car, drawn by four horses, and magnificently ornamented 
with cornucopias of public prosperity, intermingled with 
devices used by the various Dukes, amid which sat Justice, 
Bravery, and Prudence. Next marched by, an imposing 
military pageant, with the banners and ensigns of those 
states and cities over which Federigo had been victorious, 
and with the batons of command entrusted to him by the 
different powers whom he had served. To these succeeded 
a third car, still more magnificently decked out, which was 
dedicated to martial glory, and bore a figure of Pallas 
copied from the antique ; it was laden with pictures and 
mottoes, allusive to his principal triumphs ; and over a 
mass of books was the legend, — 


This lengthened procession having all passed, the 
various figures who had performed in it assembled upon 
the stage and executed a melodramatic ballet, which lasted 
till about lo p.m. ; and the ceremonies of the day were 
wound up by a splendid display of fireworks.^ It has been 

^ A comparison of this stately entertainment with the ceremonial at the 
baptism of Prince Henry of Scotland in 1594, as given in the Livts of the 
Lindsays, vol. I., 382, from a rare contemporary pamphlet, shows how Italian 
revels influenced the courtly displays of our ancestors, due allowance being 
made for the difference of climate and the somewhat more material attractions 
of the northern festivity. 

i8o MEMOIRS OF THE [1606 

stated in most accounts of the baptism, that the Golden 
Fleece was conferred on the infant by the Marquis of 
Pescara in name of his master Philip III. But, from the 
Diary of Francesco Maria, we learn that this decoration 
had been transmitted to himself some weeks before, that 
he, as a knight of that order, might invest the Marquis 
with it, which was duly done on the 1st of December. 

The Duke's advancing years had by this time consider- 
ably modified his personal habits. To the pleasures of the 
chase succeeded the less fatiguing interests of a large 
breeding stud. His partiality for animals and natural 
history had long induced him to give his attention to 
improve the race of horses, and he notes in his Diary 
frequent arrivals of stock of all sorts from various quarters, 
purchased or received in presents. Thus, in 1588, he had 
fifty-four young horses at one time from the Duke of Savoy, 
and he mentions paying 300 to 500 ducats for stallions. 
After his second marriage, entries of this sort became 
more frequent, and details of hunting less so. The great 
breeding establishment was maintained on Monte Corciano 
near Cagli, where the young stock ran at grass during the 
summer months ; in winter they were brought down to 
Mirafiori, where those which were sufficiently advanced 
went into the hands of breakers. This was a casino just 
without the walls of Pesaro, so called from a flower-garden 
the Duke had made there, whither rare and beautiful 
plants were brought from all parts at great expense. In 
it too was preserved a very rich armoury collected by him, 
which is mentioned with admiration by Scotti in his 
published travels, and which afterwards passed to the 
grand-ducal family of Tuscany. 

But the most marked alteration of his character was his 
growing aversion to public business, and increasing prone- 
ness to gratify his secluded and selfish habits by devoting 
an undue portion of time to his private relaxations of study 
and books. The tendency to solitude which had been 

i6o6] DUKES OF URBINO i8i 

gradually stealing upon him was checked for a season 
after the birth of his son. This joyous occasion seems to 
have in some degree revived the elasticity of his youthful 
feelings : his visits to Pesaro were more frequent, and, in 
1606, the Comedy of LIngannata was repeatedly per- 
formed in the palace there. Ere long, however, his mind 
gradually relapsed into a sort of morbid abstraction which 
was constitutional to him, and the retirement of Castel 
Durante became more and more attractive. It would 
indeed have been difficult to find a spot more congenial. 
Known originally as Castel del Ripa, a title appropriate to 
its position on a peninsula, formed by the rugged ravine 
of the brawling Metauro, it had been destroyed about 
1277, in a foray of the people of Urbino, whence it is 
distant about nine miles. Pope Martin IV. ordered it to 
be rebuilt by his Legate in Romagna, Guglielmo Durante, 
a noted canonist, who gave it his own name. Having 
subsequently passed in seigneury to the Brancaleoni 
of Mercatello, it was obtained, under the title partly of 
conquest, partly of inheritance, by the Counts of Monte- 
feltro, in 1429. After that dynasty had been extinguished, 
it owed to papal munificence a second re-edification in 
1636, when Urban VIII. raised it to the rank of a city, 
suffragan to the Bishop of S. Angelo in Vado ; and the 
improvements he made upon it are commemorated by 
his statue erected in the town, and by another change to 
its present name of Urbania. 

Its situation is singularly beautiful. Surrounded by 
wooded hills, it occupies the nearest point of the upper 
valley of the Metauro, which extends to the Mercatello in 
a stretch of rich alluvial land that pleasingly contrasts 
with the rest of this highland province. Adapted equally 
for the sports of the chase, and for a peaceful retreat from 
the busy world, it was in all respects suited to the wants 
of Francesco Maria, in youth and in advancing years. 
His usual residence was a large palace which, entering 

i82 MEMOIRS OF THE [1606 

from the street, overhangs to the back the romantic river ; 
and which, Hke many more of the ducal possessions, has 
passed to the Albani, and is doomed to the neglect con- 
sequent upon absenteeism and protracted litigation. It 
was here probably that he built a library, to which in 1609 
he transported from Pesaro the many books which he had 
collected, leaving at Urbino those which had been amassed 
by his predecessors. On the opposite bank he enclosed 
an extensive park, and stocked it with fallow-deer and 
smaller game. Within that enclosure, on the slopes of 
Monte Berticchio, he built, after his second marriage, 
another palace, and surrounded it with a delightful garden. 
The park walls also included the convent of Franciscan 
Observantines, which still stands about a mile to the west 
of Urbania ; and to them perhaps may be attributed the 
beginning of that monkish influence which tinged his 
latter years. But they were eventually superseded in his 
regard by the Minims, for whom, in 1617, he purchased the 
church of the Madonna della Neve, just beyond the park 
gate, and changed its name to that of the Crucifix. He 
there built for them a small convent, and invited to it twelve 
monks, distinguished for learning and acquirements in 
those philosophic pursuits which chiefly occupied his mind. 
Thus, as years advanced, did he become more and more 
inordinately attached to Castel Durante, where, leaving 
in his capital the trappings of sovereignty, he surrounded 
himself with a small and select suite, and sought in books 
and philosophic discussions, those gratifications which, since 
the chase had lost its charms, were most conducive to his 
humour. Here accordingly we find him corresponding with 
Isaac Casaubon, as to a MS. of Polybius, which, by desire 
of Henry IV., he had forwarded for an edition then in 
preparation at Paris, and urging its restoration, on the 
plea that MSS. of such value were not removed from the 
library, even for his own use.^ It was doubtless the same 

1 Brit. Mus., Burney MSS. No. 367, f. 64, 

i6o6] DUKES OF URBINO 183 

Polybius which Giunta tells us was returned by that 
monarch under a military escort.^ 

It being the whim of Francesco Maria to unite in his 
person the opposite characters of monarch and philoso- 
pher, manifold inconsistencies were the natural conse- 
quence. In the address to his subjects, which we have 
quoted in reference to his second marriage, we have seen 
him dwell on the government of a minor as the greatest 
evil that could befall a people. Yet scarcely had he 
obtained the blessing of an heir than he began to devise 
steps for devolving prematurely upon his child the re- 
sponsibility of sovereignty, and thereby releasing himself 
from those cares of state which reached him even at 
Castel Durante, and jarred Upon his morbid love of seclu- 
sion and books. To this motive, at least, seem attributable 
the measures which we are now to detail, although he 
apparently excused them to himself as a wise precaution, 
in anticipation of his own death ere his son should have 
attained maturity. But, whatever may have been his real 
inducement, the scheme, so novel in that age, of imparting 
to his subjects a share in the government, was obviously 
calculated to gratify his love of philosophic speculation, 
while it threw upon others those duties and anxieties from 
which the prevailing desire of his advancing years was to 

His first step towards this plan was taken in 1696, by 
ordaining that the episcopal cities of Urbino, Pesaro, 
Gubbio, Sinigaglia, Fossombrone, Cagli, and S. Leo, with 
the province of Massa Trabaria, should send him a leet 
of their inhabitants most qualified for the administration 
of affairs. Selecting one from each, he constituted them 
into a council of state, to sit permanently in Urbino: on 
this body he conferred the most ample powers to govern 
in his name, and, in the case of his death, to become the 
regency. In order fully to explain this project, we quote 

^ MS. Albani Library at Rome. 

i84 MEMOIRS OF THE [1606 

the state documents relating to it, which have been printed 
by Marini in his Saggio di S. Leo. These will be rendered 
more intelligible by premising that the inhabitants of 
towns were then divided into four classes, — the nobility, 
the merchants and wealthy citizens, the master artisans, 
and the operative artisans. Each of these chose their own 
prior, and the prior of the nobles was the gonfaloniere, to 
whom, among other duties, was confided the standard in 
battle. These political rights did not extend to peasants, 
menial servants, nor mechanics of the baser callings. 

" To the magnificent and our well-beloved, the Gon- 
faloniere and Priors of S. Leo, and to the Four, 
and the Parliament of the province of Monte- 
feltro. The Duke of Urbino. 

" Magnificent and well-beloved, 
"Ever since the birth of the son whom God has vouch- 
safed to us, it has been our fixed intention, in consideration 
of the age we have attained, to leave behind us such a 
form of government as may, during his minority, secure 
your welfare, and be in conformity to your wishes ; and 
the desire increases with the affection which we bear to 
you, and to which you are so well entitled. For this end 
nothing seems more suitable than that you should govern 
the commonwealth and him also. To carry our design 
into execution, your council of S. Leo, uniting with the 
Four and the Parliament of the province of Montefeltro, 
will elect three or four well -qualified persons, without 
reference to their rank or station, or to their being mem- 
bers of council or parliament. From these we shall select 
one, who, together with those from the other seven com- 
munities, may represent our whole state, and give their 
undivided attention to such important matters for the 
general weal as shall be impartially proposed by us, with 
a view to your own benefit, and that of our house. The 
enclosed draft is sent to you as a foretaste of this plan of 

i6o6] DUKES OF URBINO 185 

government. Be careful, therefore, to complete the elec- 
tion as soon as possible, as it is our intention to make trial 
during our life of this mode of government, and so to in- 
troduce it that, after us, it may proceed with the more 
facility, and in better order, in the name of the Almighty, 
From all this we feel assured that you must perceive the 
great confidence which we have in you, and which we 
firmly hope will much contribute to those good results of 
our plan so strenuously desired by us and by you. May 
the Lord God protect you. 

"From Urbino, the 24th of August, 1606, 

" Francesco Maria," 

\Praft enclosed in the preceding letter^ 

" The form of government by the persons elected shall 
be as follows. All the Eight shall reside at Urbino, with 
the same absolute rules as I myself enjoy, attending with 
all diligence and loyal fidelity to the guidance of the state 
and of their pupil. And, further, each of them shall make 
oath before the auditors to exercise their functions in the 
manner prescribed, and, in due time, to execute to the 
letter my testament, and all such written memoranda as I 
may leave behind me. 

" They shall have two secretaries, one for foreign affairs 
and correspondence, the other for those of the interior, and 
shall assemble with them twice a day, or oftener if neces- 
sary. They shall take their seats at the same side of the 
table in their respective order ; and those whose rank may 
have been matter of dispute shall decide by lot who is to 
take precedence at first, and shall thereafter enjoy it by 
turns, changing each succeeding month. They shall ob- 
serve the same order in voting and on all occasions of 
meeting for public business, but at other times they are to 
have no sort of rank. And this rule shall be observed as 
to all questions of precedence that may arise, until it be 
modified by consent or legal authority, always without 

1 86 



prejudice to the rights of individuals ; and, if any one be 
discontented therewith, the others shall be entitled to ad- 
minister the state with unimpaired authority. 

" They shall enjoin the secretaries to make minutes of 
all that occurs, writing them afterwards into a book for the 
purpose. The Eight, or whatever be their number, shall 
discuss verbally all motions, and ballot upon them, the 
resolutions supported by most balls being carried ; and this 
shall be specially minuted, with the signature of both sec- 
retaries. In case of an equality of votes, the president of 
the bench of auditors shall be called upon to decide the 

" All their resolutions, letters, and documents shall run 
in name of the sovereign, with the ducal seal, and with 
signatures of the first in rank, and of the two secretaries. 

" In absence of one or more from illness, or the like law- 
ful cause, the others shall continue vested with the same 
authority, provided there be a quorum of five; but, if 
fewer, the auditors must make up that number. And, 
should one die, or become permanently disabled, his place 
must be forthwith filled up by election of another leet as 
at first. 

" The courts of law [udiensa] shall continue to enjoy the 
same authority as heretofore, but subject to the first of the 
eight deputies, to whom shall be submitted memorials of 
all cases for pardon, in the same way as has been hitherto 
observed. By these courts shall be named the officers of 
justice for the state, who, in absence of cause shown to the 
contrary, shall be confirmed by the deputies, on whom 
shall depend absolutely all the other officers of the house- 
hold and state. 

"And, in order that these deputies may give undivided 
attention to their official duties, they shall each receive 
from the treasury 300 scudi a year." ^ 

^ Vat. Ottob. MSS, No. 3184, f. 154. The salary of 300 scudi was 
increased to 400. 

i6o7] DUKES OF URBINO 187 

Four days after date of the precedin^^ letter, the 
provincial parliament of Montefeltro, and the council of 
S. Leo, met to deliberate thereon, by summons from the 
commissioner of the province and the podesta of the town. 
The parliament consisted of four delegates from the land- 
ward districts, and twenty-nine others from as many 
townships ; the council was composed of the gonfaloniere, 
three priors, and twenty-nine citizens. They elected four 
deputies by ballot, excluding, by a majority of black 
beans, two of those proposed ; and, from these four, one 
whose election had been unanimous was selected by the 
Duke as deputy to the council. Similar forms having 
been observed by the remaining cities, the council entered 
upon their duties on 22nd of January, 1607, ^^^ Francesco 
Maria resigned himself more than ever to the selfish ease 
of his solitary and abstracted life at Castel Durante, flatter- 
ing himself (to use his own words) that " they would inform 
themselves fully of all matters of internal policy and 
foreign relations, and would direct these for the service 
of God, and to the benefit of his subjects, and of his 

It would be tedious and unnecessary to notice all the 
minute instructions issued from time to time to the Eight 
on matters of police, of patronage, or of trade. The 
following memorandum, however, written out by Francesco 
Maria himself for their guidance, in 161 1, affords some 
insight into his views of general policy: — 

" In order to continue hourly more fully satisfied with 
you, I give you the following suggestions, which seem to 
me called for at this moment. Ever have before your 
eyes the three objects which I have often enforced upon 
you — plenty, peace, and justice. The first of these will be 
secured if the old plan for plenty be not re-established, 
which, indeed, might be more appropriately called per- 
petual scarcity, as it was adopted solely for enriching six 
or eight of the worst citizens who managed it ; and should 

i88 MEMOIRS OF THE [1607 

it become necessary to purchase grain, let an advance from 
my funds be made to the pubUc, always endeavouring to 
clear off such loans as remain undischarged. And never 
permit the local councils to meddle with matters that 
concern them not, seeing that I, by adopting the contrary 
plan for their satisfaction, fell into errors which turned 
out ill. 

" As to maintaining peace among my subjects, this may 
easily be done by chastising the riotous and sowers of dis- 
sension and discord, whose punishment ought to be public 
and severe ; above all things preventing persons of what- 
soever rank to pretend to or maintain retinues of followers, 
or to domineer over others. 

" Justice will be observed by insuring the prompt issue 
of suits, and by punishing judges when they fall into 
error ; but especially by enforcing an inviolate observance 
of all orders, decrees, and proclamations ; by rarely, and 
only from necessity, suspending the prosecution of out- 
laws ; and by receiving few fugitives from other states. 
Prevent so great an increase of lawyers and notaries, and 
offer obstacles to their admission. Show no undue favour 
to parties in suits. Vigilantly defend our authority, ever 
covertly assailed ; but do this by fair means, avoiding if 
possible open ruptures. Eschew partiality and prejudice, 
rigorously maintaining justice and your duty. 

" In the despatch of business promptitude is requisite, 
avoiding arrears, which occasion oversights, and lead to a 
wholesale transaction of affairs, without the accuracy 
necessary to their being done well ; and although full 
consideration and discussion be required, there are few 
matters which cannot be exhausted by employing on them 
one's entire energy during two hours ; after which they 
should be carried into effect quickly, without further dis- 
course, but with secrecy. Provided you do all these things 
with that affection upon which I rely, I doubt not of their 
happy issue ; but I again, and for the last time, remind 

i6o7] DUKES OF URBINO 189 

you that your chief care should be the punctual execution 
of all my injunctions and commands."^ 

Whatever may have been the immediate effect upon the 
management of public affairs of the Duke's wayward con- 
duct, its mischievous influence on the character of the 
young Prince was not long dormant. His education was 
entrusted, in 1607, to the Countess Vittoria Tortora 
Ranuccio Santinelli, whose husband was major-domo to 
the Duke ; but the anxiety felt for a life so precious was 
unduly exaggerated by certain symptoms of childish 
delicacy, and the system adopted was that of unbounded 
indulgence, balanced by no obligation to apply himself to 
anything. Before he had completed his second year, 
Philip III. settled upon him in reversion his father's re- 
taining pension of 15,000 golden scudi, and company of 
men-at-arms in Naples, assuring him of ample protection. 
That the Duke was sensitively anxious to prepare his 
mind for the duties of manhood thus crowded prematurely 
upon him, is interestingly shown by a paper of instruc- 
tions, written in the anticipation of his being left an early 
orphan. To find in it maxims directly opposed to the 
writer's own practice may afford scope for saddening 
speculation to a philosophic moralist, and must have 
greatly detracted from their influence upon the boy to 
whom they were addressed. The length of the docu- 
ment, and its interruption to our narrative, will be excused 
from its importance as illustrating the character of Fran- 
cesco Maria. 

" Believing that at my advanced age I cannot be much 
longer with you, I have resolved to write down certain 
memoranda which I consider it most necessary that you 
should remember, preserving them not merely under your 
eye, but impressing them deep on your heart ; for by none 
can they be offered you with more affection, or perhaps 

1 Vat. Ottob. MSS. No. 3134, f. 158. 

190 MEMOIRS OF THE [1607 

with greater experience, from the affairs which I have 

" I would, therefore, desire you chiefly to endeavour 
with all your might, to live in the favour of our Lord God, 
devoutly honouring His holy name, and being careful 
never to offend Him, firm in His most holy faith without 
superstition. As to priests and monks, after securing 
them in the position which is their due, do not establish 
with them much familiarity beyond what your devotional 
duties call for ; but leave them to look to their proper 
business, whilst you attend to yours without their assist- 
ance, further than their prayers in your behalf 

" Be not merely faithful to his Holiness the Pope, but 
also obedient, doing all that in you lies for his service, 
and with sincere attachment seeking to exalt the Holy See. 

" In the service of his Catholic Majesty show yourself at 
all times most zealous, performing it with constancy, and 
never quitting it until it becomes inconsistent with your 
honour, which I feel assured it never will be. And further, 
be ready to display your devotion in a befitting manner; 
and should his Majesty take the field in person, fail not to 
be there also, and to identify yourself with him, from which 
you cannot fail to derive great reputation : remember 
also, to treat all Spaniards with amiable courtesy. With 
other sovereigns and princes cultivate the most friendly 
terms, obliging them when opportunity offers, especially 
neighbouring powers. 

" Maintain towards all, sincerity and truth with mild- 
ness ; but beware of being deluded, and for this purpose 
be slow to credit any one, 

" When called upon to form any important resolution, 
examine both sides of the question, and attach yourself to 
that which seems safest. 

" Remember that you leave not for the morrow what 
can be done on the instant; and so will your affairs gener- 
ally succeed according to your wishes. When just, your 


undertakings will ever be forwarded and directed by the 
Almighty ; and thus will the labour be less to yourself 
than if they are allowed to go on accumulating. 

" In the government of your subjects and dependants 
be most decided ; to your associates and well-wishers be 
gracious and pleasing ; towards others just and strict. 

" At the hour most convenient to yourself give daily 
audience to all who seek it, hearing them patiently and 
without interruption, and tolerating them even while 
trifling a little. Leave the judges free from interference 
in the lawful execution of their duties, dispensing mercy 
where it is justly merited, and reluctant to the punishment 
of death. In all but aggravated cases, commute it into 
a minor penalty, especially by sending culprits to the 
Venetian galleys, since this is an old usage in our family, 
and as these protect our seas from pirates. 

" Choose for your service faithful and prudent nobles, 
neither selfish, greedy, nor partial. 

" See that your ministers and counsellors be men who, 
as the proverb goes, take the cart road, and boast not 
themselves inventors of new theories, which, however 
specious and fine at first sight, are most difficult in 
practice, and in their issue full of mischief. Show no 
favour towards rash ventures or novel expedients, but 
give your attention rather to forward measures that have 
been determined on. Be not anxious to make many new 
laws, but, on the contrary, endeavour to condense the old 

" Encourage not your relations to meddle in the affairs 
of your government, lest they should in consequence arro- 
gate to themselves undue influence ; but contrive to keep 
them in good humour by honouring them yourself, and by 
taking care that others respect them. 

" Visit in person, annually, your whole state ; or, when 
prevented from doing so, send one of your judges. 

" Be courteous to ecclesiastical dignitaries, giving them 

192 MEMOIRS OF THE [1607 

such honours as are their due, and exacting the hke in 

"See that your household be discreet and in nowise 
quarrelsome, and divide annually among the most deserv- 
ing of them some donative from escheated property; 
but I recommend you to keep hold of all castles, and 
never alienate them, unless to those who have done you 
some signal and most important service. 

" Be liberal in your expenditure, but never exceed your 
revenues, managing so that every year you may have 
something in hand ; for if you do not attend to this, you 
will probably find yourself tempted by necessity to seize 
upon what belongs to your subjects, — a thing you must 
ever guard yourself from, as well as from any attempts 
upon the honour of their wives, especially those of the 

" Be to all benignant and affable, entering freely into 
conversation with men of letters or military acquirements, 
and, above all, with those skilled in politics and affairs of 

" Do not be too anxious to devote yourself to scientific 
studies, which both preoccupy the mind from more im- 
portant subjects, and sadden it. Be satisfied with a 
thorough knowledge of your native tongue, so as to read 
in it all old and modern histories, and at fit times some 
devotional book ; but trust to acquiring knowledge of the 
sciences from the discourse of their respective professors. 
It is advisable to learn other languages ; indeed, Spanish 
is necessary, as you are in the service of his Catholic 

" Practise all heathful exercises, especially, ball, hunting, 
and the manege. In the first of these you may indulge 
almost daily ; for the second, once a week is sufficient, as 
it loses the entire day, and when too frequently followed 
is apt to render one coarse. Make use of the third when 
you feel inclined, maintaining a small breeding stud, for 

16073 DUKES OF URBINO 193 

which your country is admirably adapted, with about 
thirty fine horses always at your disposal. I warn you, 
however, not to over-exert yourself in this or similar 
exercise, for excessive fatigue brings on many infirmities, 
as has happened to myself Fencing is likewise most 
needful, especially that called wide fighting, for close- 
quarters are dangerous, and of little real avail. Instru- 
mental music and singing are excellent recreations, as 
well as dancing to give the body freedom. Swimming is 
also an excellent preservative, especially in travelling. 

" Do not indulge too much in sleeping. Eat and drink 
of everything indifferently, without reference to diet such 
as is recommended by physicians, of whom keep aloof 
while you can, never calling them in until you are ill ; 
but when really so, obey them strictly, committing your- 
self first to God, and secondly to their skill. 

" Remember, as soon as convenient, to complete your 
marriage with the sister of the Grand Duke of Tuscany ; 
for no alliance could be found better or more entirely 
suitable for this state, for our house, or for yourself To 
her, as your wife, be ever most affectionate ; yet see that 
she meddle not in the affairs of government, but more 
particularly that she does not interfere in matters regard- 
ing the administration of justice. Endeavour always to 
maintain a most friendly footing with her family, paying 
to the Grand Duke the deference due to a father, and con- 
sulting him on every incident of importance. 

" Should God grant you more than one son, purchase 
for one of them a fief, however small, in the kingdom of 
Naples, and other property, yielding in all 12,000 scudi of 
revenue, but give him no lands in your own state : by 
this means you will found a second house, and avert the 
danger in which our family was at the time of your birth. 
Your other sons you may provide for by making one a 
churchman with the Pope's assistance, and by giving to 
the rest such savings as will in that case be very requi- 
III. — o 

194 MEMOIRS OF THE [1608 

site. Forget not to treat your eldest son like a brother, 
admitting him to share with you the government and 
administration, which, if God grant me life, I shall cer- 
tainly do towards you. 

" Lastly, I assure you, that those who have been faith- 
ful and attached to me will, if you avail yourself of their 
services, be the same to you ; others you may seek to 
attach to you, but abandon not these. 

" Such is the little I would impress upon you, not with- 
out difficulty and much consideration ; but take courage, 
and the execution of it will become easy. I give you my 
paternal benediction, praying the blessed God to confirm 

But though it seems agreed that the seed thus kindly 
and carefully sown fell upon a soil not naturally ungenial, 
and though to much childish beauty the Prince is stated 
to have joined a fine temper, a remarkably quick appre- 
hension, and an uncommon memory, he was destined 
sadly to verify a remark of Dante, that, — 

" Rarely into the branches of the tree 
Doth human worth mount up." 

The good fruit of almost spontaneous growth was speedily 
and entirely choked by rank weeds, fostered under an 
erroneous system of early discipline. An only child, he 
was deprived of playmates of his own rank, and even of 
the companionship of the higher nobility, for whom were 
substituted those whose flattery and indulgence provoked 
and pandered to all the worst passions of a spoiled brat ; 
and so early and fatally was this perversion effected, that 
he had scarcely passed the years of infancy ere the people, 
who had hailed him as a gift of Heaven, ominously de- 
precated his accession to power. On his eighth birthday, 
he was sent by the Duke, with a suitable attendance, to 

^ Bibl. Oliveriana. 

i6i3] DUKES OF URBINO 195 

pay his vows at the shrine of his patron saint in the 
cathedral of Gubbio, and to offer there a small bust of 
himself chased in gold. On this occasion the aged cour- 
tiers, who assembled to do honour to his reception, were 
heard to draw the most melancholy forebodings, on observ- 
ing the overbearing and fiery temper which he was at no 
pains to control or conceal.*^ 

*^ Cf. Pellegrini, op cit., in Boll. cit. vol. cit., p. 509 el seq., who gives 
two contemporary accounts of the visit of Federigo in 161 8. 


The Prince's marriage — The Duke entrusts to him the government and retires 
to Castel Durante — His dissolute career and early death — Birth of his 
daughter Vittoria — The Duke rouses himself — He arranges the devolution 
of his state to the Holy See — Papal intrigues. 

THE anxiety of Francesco Maria for continu- 
ance of his line, and for the maintenance of 
his state against the risk of a minority, led 
him to select a match of policy for his son 
while yet a mere infant. In October, 1608, he sent a 
confidential adviser. Count Francesco Maria Mammiani, 
to attend on his behalf the marriage of Cosimo Prince of 
Tuscany ; and during its prolonged festivities, a negotia- 
tion was happily concluded for the betrothal of Princess 
Claudia, youngest daughter of the Grand Duke Ferdi- 
nand n. to Prince Federigo. The death of her father, 
soon after, did not delay the ratification of an engage- 
ment so advantageous to all parties, and on the 24th of 
April following, it was publicly announced, — the united 
ages of the childish couple amounting to eight years and 
a half, and the Princess being the elder by eight months. 
In November, she sent to " her husband " the appropriate 
presents of a nicely accoutred pony, a poodle taught to 
leap, a jackdaw, and an inkstand in the form of Mount 
Calvary containing various conveniences. In honour, 
probably, of the same auspicious occasion, was a gift of 
jewels from Philip III. of Spain to the Duke and Duchess 
in 1609, consisting of a girdle, necklace, and brooch of 
gold ; the girdle containing twenty-eight, and the neck- 


From the pichire once in the possession of Andrew Coventry of Edhihtrgh 


lace eighteen links, studded with a hundred and twenty- 
six diamonds ; sixty gold buttons enamelled in white 
and red, each with three diamonds ; and a string of two 
hundred and twenty-six pearls of various sizes.^ 

The long and friendly intercourse of the Dukes of 
Urbino with the crown of Spain had moulded their 
court to a tone of Spanish gravity, and a certain severity 
of manner, which the cold character, reserved habits, and 
strict morals of Francesco Maria had served to confirm. 
To this the conduct of the youthful Prince soon offered 
the strongest contrast. Wilful in all things, and impatient 
of control, he endured no constraint upon his gratifications. 
These were generally of the most trifling and childish 
description; and in one respect alone, and that an un- 
fortunate one, did he exhibit any manly quality. His 
precocious gallantry was a scandal to the staid manners 
of the court, and proved ruinous to his own constitution. 
Too late was his father made aware of follies and vices 
which he had allowed to attain a dangerous height ; and 
to the counsels of his advisers, that even yet a decided 
check should be applied, he weakly replied, in the subtleties 
of a false philosophy, that restraints now imposed would 
but irritate his son, and surely lead to greater excesses so 
soon as they could be removed or burst. In truth, the old 
man shrank from the exertions which his interference 
would require, and selfishly calculated on being removed 
from the scene ere the mischief was fully matured. But, 
whatever may have been the Duke's motives, his refusal 
to interfere was quickly reported to the Prince, who, thus 
secured against control, was emboldened to new ex- 

Finding that years only confirmed those vicious symp- 
toms which the Prince had manifested from childhood, and 
which a bad education had not even attempted to eradi- 

1 Oliveriana MSS. No. 375, vol. XXXI., p. 62. 

198 MEMOIRS OF THE [1616 

cate, his father thought fit to try the experiment of 
sending him forth to see the world, where, in the inter- 
course of courts, and in contact with men of distinction, 
he might observe those qualities which mankind deem 
worthy of honour, and might learn the reputation acquired 
by his ancestors. This plan, which had more good sense 
than most of those which Francesco Maria was in the 
habit of forming, unfortunately failed, and brought about 
results exactly the reverse of those which had been an- 

On his journey through Romagna towards Florence, 
Federigo's evil genius brought him into the company of 
some strolling comedians returning from Venice. De- 
lighted with their loose manners, he threw himself among 
them without reserve, and a taste for their pursuits was 
formed at first sight, which disgracefully occupied the 
few remaining years of his life. Such is the account 
given by Passeri ; and two entries in the Duke's Diary 
mention that the Prince set out to visit Florence on the 
1st and returned on the 22nd of October, 1616. During 
the following month the Grand Duke Cosimo II. arrived 
from Loreto on a visit to Pesaro, with his brother the 
Cardinal ; they travelled with a large suite partly in 
coaches and six, partly in litters, or on horseback, escorted 
by a guard of cuirassiers, being in all not less than six hun- 
dred persons. The Prince met and welcomed them at the 
head of a hundred mounted gentlemen, and accompanied 
them on a hunting party. They stayed six days at Pesaro, 
and thence proceeded to Rimini, leaving many presents, 
among which the Grand Duke gave Federigo a beautiful 
little office-book in a case, worth 1000 golden scudi. Re- 
garding his youthful irregularities the Journal maintains a 
uniform silence, and the few notices of amusements at court 
scarcely afford us any index of his tastes. It would seem 
that up to his marriage he rarely left his parents' residence. 
During that time we find but two theatrical representations 

1620] DUKES OF URBINO 199 

mentioned. In the carnival of 161 7 nine couples of 
knights fought within a barrier, where there were also 
two chariots, one of Pallas, the other of Venus. The 
following year a wild boar, caught near Mondolfo, where 
it had attacked various peasants, was baited in the palace- 
yard at Pesaro with large dogs and spears ; and some 
days thereafter the Prince, with five others of his age, held 
a mimic tourney in the great hall. 

The melancholy turn which the Prince's folly had taken 
determined his unhappy parent at once to conclude his 
marriage, which, even should it unhappily fail in rescuing 
him from a disgraceful career, might at least secure the 
continuance of his family. The Princess had a character 
for high spirit, not free from hauteur, but accompanied 
with decided talent ; qualities that seemed likely to in- 
fluence her destined husband, or, at all events, to maintain 
his dignity against the debasing tendency of dissolute 
habits. An intimate alliance with so powerful and so close 
a neighbour was in every view politic, but especially at a 
time when the duchy of Urbino had become a more than 
ever desirable adjunct to the Papal States. If any further 
inducements were wanting to render this the most advis- 
able marriage for the Prince, it was supplied by the dowry 
of 300,000 crowns of gold. But an arrangement so 
eligible seemed fated at every step to be thwarted by the 
unsparing hand of death. When all was ready for pub- 
lishing the betrothal, the bride's father was, as we have 
seen, called away ; just as the nuptials were on the eve of 
celebration, thirteen years later, her brother, the Grand 
Duke Cosimo II., died on the 28th of February, 1621. 
The urgent and advantageous circumstances of the con- 
nection again superseded the formality of court etiquette, 
and an early day was fixed for the marriage. 

On the 19th of April the Prince sent on a confidential 
envoy with the following letter to his bride ^ : — 
^ Bibl. Oliveriana MSS. No. 396, p. 131, 

200 MEMOIRS OF THE [1621 

" To the Princess Claudia, Consort of the Prince of 


" Most serene Highness, my Lady, and most affec- 
tionate Consort, 

"Giordani precedes me, and will give your Highness 
certain assurance of my arrival next week, by the favour 
of God. I beseech your Highness to accompany me on 
this journey with the favour of your good wishes and 
prayers ; and meanwhile I, with all my heart, kiss your 
hands. From Pesaro, the i6th of April, 162 1. 

"Your Highness's most affectionate servant and hus- 
band, who loves you more than himself, 
"The Prince of Urbino." 

The same day Federigo went to visit his father, and on 
the 22nd left Castel Durante. At the Alpine frontier he was 
met by a guard of honour, under whose escort he arrived 
on the 25th in Florence, where, after a pompous entrance 
into the city, the Villa Baroncelli was assigned for his 
reception. The ceremony was performed on the 29th, the 
respective ages of the parties being sixteen and seven- 
teen.*^ The public joy felt in the duchy at a step which 
promised to secure the continued succession of the ducal 
house, and with it the nationality of the state, was pro- 
portioned rather to the importance of those objects than 
to the merits of Federigo. As yet, however, his faults had 
been shown to but a limited extent, and by most of those 
who were cognisant of them were generally believed the 
exuberant but passing growth of boyish folly, which time, 
and, above all, a respectable marriage, would surely eradi- 
cate. The Duke was willing to second the manifestation 
of these feelings, and the festivities wherewith the event 
was celebrated at Pesaro were consequently very elaborate, 

*^ The ceremony was performed on the 28th February without any pomp. 
Cf. Ugolini, opcit., vol. II., p. 437. 

[a. Kiia] 


i62i] DUKES OF URBINO 201 

Among the most striking novelties was a device by which 
discharges of artillery were so regulated as to harmonise, 
or rather to beat time with the military bands, and the 
great hall of the palace was fitted up as a theatre for the 
performance of entertainments similar to what we have 
lately described.^ 

The Prince preceded his bride, and, after passing a day 
with his father at Castel Durante, reached Pesaro on the 
15th of May. On the 21st, she set out on her ill-fated 
journey, and on the 26th was met at Lamole by her 
husband. Although it is only within the last few years 
that the Apennine range has been there opened up by a 
road equalling in convenience any of the celebrated Alpine 
passes, a hasty effort was made to render her route 
practicable for a carriage from the frontier to her new 
capital. In the communal records of S. Angelo in Vado, 
I noticed an instruction that the town should bear its 
portion of the repairs of the way from Borgo S. Sepolchro, 
preparatory to her passage, and should contribute towards 
the public rejoicings, triumphal arches, and other compli- 
mentary demonstrations. Among the ingenious devices 
adopted in honour of the occasion, was the construction in 
wood of a colossal equestrian figure of the Prince on horse- 
back, part of which still remains in the public hall of 
S. Angelo. Tradition ascribes it to Frederico Zuccaro, 
but his death in 1609 places him beyond the suspicion of 
executing what seems to have been little creditable to the 
artistic skill of his townsmen. The bridal party, after 
sleeping at Mercatello, proceeded by easy journeys to 
Pesaro, spending only a forenoon at Castel Durante with 
the Duke, who, unequal to the journey, had deputed his 
principal courtiers, escorted by a hundred gentlemen on 
horseback, to receive the Princess on the Apennines, and 
conduct her home. Among the deputations which on this 
occasion attended to welcome her to her future dominions, 

1 See p. 177. 

202 MEMOIRS OF THE [1621 

was one from S. Leo, the ancient capital of the original 
fief of the Feltrian race, bringing a donative of twelve 
silver cups valued at 500 scudi, to whom she returned the 
following answer : — 

" To the most magnificent and my much loved the 
Gonfaloniere and Priors of the city of S. Leo, 

" Most magnificent and well-beloved, 
" On entering this state, I brought with me a firm 
resolution impartially to favour all, but this I shall 
especially observe towards you ; for I have particularly to 
acknowledge your affectionate devotion, and gratefully to 
accept the duty you have expressed towards me by the 
mouth of your deputation, and by the compliment of plate 
you have given me in token of your attachment. I shall 
ever cherish towards you the like good will, and a desire of 
usefully testifying it. May God preserve you. From 
Pesaro, 19th December, 162 1. 

" Your most loving, 

" Claudia, Princess of Urbino."^ 

With infatuation unequalled perhaps in the long cata- 
logue of parental errors, Francesco Maria now gave the 
finishing stroke to a system which had trained up his only 
child to become the scourge of his people and the ruin of 
his house. We have seen him deprecate a minority as a 
national misfortune ; we have now to witness him antici- 
pating all its evils, by voluntarily entrusting the reins to 
one whom youth, education, inexperience, and follies 
combined to render utterly inefficient for their manage- 
ment. That this plan had long been cherished as a 
favourite speculation, may be gathered from those instruc- 
tions to his son which have been already quoted ; that its 
most attractive feature was the escape it secured to him 
from the business and duties of his station, admits not of a 
^ Marin I, Saggio di S. Leo, 

i62i] DUKES OF URBINO 203 

doubt. Flattering himself that, in providing the Prince 
with an honourable and eligible match, he had done his 
utmost to retrieve past errors and secure a prosperous 
future, he hurried the execution of his scheme, apprehensive 
perhaps that delay would render its absurdity more glaring, 
or bring to light some new disqualification in Federigo. 
In absence of any rational explanation of such a step, it 
has been supposed a secret stipulation with the Grand 
Duke at the time of the marriage, but of this there is not 
a shadow of evidence. The motive imputed by Gozzi, 
that it was a device of the Duke to prevent his son from 
longing for his death and for the delights of sovereignty, 
seems quite reconcileable with the false philosophy by 
which he so perversely regulated his general conduct. We 
turn with interest to the Diary at a moment thus im- 
portant to his history and that of his state, but find it here 
more than usually meagre, alluding neither to the fact of 
his abdication, its manner, nor its motives.^ Like King 
Lear, the old man already felt — 

" How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is 
To have a thankless child," 

and his Memoirs abruptly conclude with the negotiation 
for the Prince's marriage. From Passeri's investigations, 
we only learn that he one day called round him his son 
and principal officers, and, after addressing to both a long 
exhortation on the new duties about to be devolved upon 
them, made over to the former the reins of government.^ 

^ As a specimen of the style of this most disappointing MS., and in proof 
of its small historical importance, I extract all the notices for August 1621, 
the month in which, according to Passeri, this transaction took place. 

"6. News arrived of the death of the Archduke Albert, which happened at 
Brussels on the 13th ult. 

15. Vespers began to be performed in the church of S. Rocca of Castel 

21. A stag was killed, weighing fully 530 lbs. 

26. Four large English dogs coursed in the park, which belong to the 
Prince ; they killed two fallow deer." 

" It appears that on the 25th of July the Prince arrived from Urbino, and 
stayed two days, during which probably this scene took place, 

204 MEMOIRS OF THE [1621 

Reserving for his own use one-third of the private 
revenues of his family, which from various documents 
seem to have amounted to about 300,000 crowns, he shut 
himself up more closely than ever in his — 

" Boasted seat 
Of studious peace and mild philosophy." 

Among the Oliveriana MSS. I found a list of his court 
taken to Castel Durante, which, though undated, probably 
refers to the arrangements made at this period. 

I counsellor, i secretary, 5 gentlemen of the household . . 7 
4 captains, 5 chamberlains, 4 assistant chamberlains . .13 
I dwarf or hunchback, i watchmaker, i barber . . .3 
I master of the wardrobe, 2 porters, 4 pages and their 2 servants 9 
I physician, i apothecary, 2 chaplains, 3 readers . . .7 
18 household servants, 10 stable servants . . , .28 

Total . . . .67 

Yet the theoretical tendencies of his mind had not 
prevented him from establishing, in the early portion of 
his reign, many practical regulations conducive to the 
acceleration of business, and to the due order of public 
affairs. His sway had been upon the whole a mild one ; 
and on a retrospect of two centuries, the government of 
his predecessors must be pronounced to have promoted, 
in a degree rarely paralleled, general happiness and public 
decorum, and at the same time the true glory of their 
state. But all this was now to be changed, and the 
brilliant dynasty of Urbino was doomed to expire, ex- 
haling a vile and loathsome odour. That court which 
the refined tastes of the Feltrian Dukes and the polished 
pen of Castiglione had rendered a model to the world, 
which the literature and conduct of its later sovereigns 
had maintained in like honourable distinction, was about 
to present a melancholy spectacle of unexampled degra- 
dation. To enumerate the debasing excesses successively 
introduced by Federigo is a sad and sickening task, which 
it were well briefly to go through. His fancy for music 

1622] DUKES OF URBINO 205 

was indulged, to the exclusion of more serious avocations. 
His casual acquaintance with the company of Venetian 
comedians was ripened into an intimacy, which gradually 
monopolised his time and thoughts, and was followed 
out with frenzied enthusiasm. These persons, belonging 
then to the vilest classes, and treated accordingly, became 
the Prince's associates in public and in private. Conform- 
ing his morals to theirs, he admitted the actresses into 
his palace in daring defiance of decency, and openly 
established one, named Argentina, as his mistress, feting 
her publicly in Pesaro, and lavishing upon her large sums. 
Advancing from one extravagance to another, this petty 
Nero of a petty court delighted to bear a part in their 
dramatic representations before his own subjects, generally 
choosing the character of a servant or a lover, as most 
congenial to his degraded capacity. His people, imbued 
with respect for the traditionary glories of their former 
Dukes, and accustomed to the gravity of Spanish 
manners, stood in consternation at such spectacles. But 
they scarcely dared express their feelings or hope for 

redress, for, whilst he thus 

" Moiling lay, 
Tangled in net of sensual delight,'' 

the Prince had adopted the most severe precautions to pre- 
vent his father becoming cognisant of what was passing. 

But, however he might succeed in blinding one who was 
probably too happy to shut his eyes and ears against all 
that occurred beyond the limits of his favourite park and 
convent at Castel Durante, those who owed the youthful 
tyrant no allegiance of apprehension carried rumours of 
his doings to Florence. The family of the Princess 
anxious to interrupt a career so disgraceful to her hus- 
band, so miserable for herself, invited Federigo to visit 
them ; and we find from the Diary so often quoted, that 
he went to Florence on the 12th of September, and re- 
turned on the 3rd of December, 1622. 

2o6 MEMOIRS OF THE [1623 

The Princess still fondly hoped (for women's hopes 
when fed by their wishes die slowly) that the case was not 
desperate ; she accordingly received her husband with the 
joy and affection of a faithful wife, and ordered a salute of 
a hundred cannon to welcome him back. But her trust 
was doomed to a grievous disappointment. The recent 
restraints of a foreign residence were speedily compen- 
sated by new indulgences, more scandalous, if possible, 
than before. The buffoonery he had learned on the stage 
was carried into the streets, through which he sallied in 
some low disguise, insulting all and sundry, and striking 
them with the flat of his sword, till frequently obliged to 
discover himself to the astonished spectators. The time 
which he could spare from such ribaldry, and from his 
comedians, was devoted to the stable. Besides driving his 
own horses, an occupation in those stately days exclusively 
menial, he performed about them the vilest offices of farrier 
and stable-boy. At length, in executing a feat, unattempted, 
perhaps, by subsequent Jehus, that of driving eighteen 
horses in hand, he galloped over a poor child. This out- 
rage, having reached his father, provoked him, in a fit of 
passionate indignation, and in forgetfulness of his abdicated 
powers, to pronounce sentence of exile from Pesaro against 
the Prince, — an order which, of course, was not enforced. 
The reserved inanity of the Diary throws no light what- 
ever on the Duke's knowledge or feelings in regard to 
such occurrences, though the following notices are scarcely 
reconcileable with his ignorance of one excess of his son's 
headstrong career. 

" 1623, February 24. The Duchess went to Urbino for 
the comedy represented there the following day, and re- 
turned on the 26th. 

" , 27. The comedy was performed in Castel 

Durante." 1 

^ The succeeding entry abruptly concludes the Journal : — " March 7. The 
Prince arrived about 10 a.m., having left Pesaro the preceding day, and re- 
turned there the loth ; " probably his last meeting with his father. 

i623] DUKES OF URBINO 207 

Resuming Passeri's Memoir, to which, although incor- 
rect in many details, we are mainly indebted for this por- 
tion of our narrative, we find that the Prince moved to 
Urbino early in the summer, the company of actors form- 
ing the strength of his court, and there nightly performed 
with them, amid the acclamations of a rabble audience. 
With a view to conciliate his mother-in-law, the Grand 
Duchess of Tuscany, whose interference in behalf of her 
insulted daughter he had too good reason to anticipate, he 
prepared a magnificent coach and six costly horses as a 
present to her. On the 28th of June he acted as usual on 
the stage, the part which he sustained on this occasion 
being (according to Galuzzi) the degraded one of a pack- 
horse, carrying about the comedians on his back, and 
finally kicking off a load of crockery with which he was 
laden. About midnight he retired to rest, worn out by 
this buffoonery, after giving orders for a chasse next day 
at Piobbico near Castel Durante. At dawn, hearing the 
clatter of the horses which were setting out for Florence, 
he rose and gave some orders from the window in his 
night dress. In the morning his attendants, surprised at 
not being summoned, and fearing he would be too late to 
attend mass before noon, knocked in vain at his door. 
Three hours passed away in doubts and speculations, and 
at length two of the courtiers burst open the door, ex- 
claiming " Up, your Highness, 'tis time for the comedy ! " 
But for him that hour was past ; the well-known and wel- 
come words fell on an ear whose silver cord was broken. 
His body was under the icy grip of death ; his spirit had 
fled to its awful account. 

The body was discovered on its back, bleeding at the 
nose and mouth, the left hand under the pillow, one leg 
drawn up, and the mattress much discomposed. The 
Prince always slept alone, and locked himself in, without 
retaining any attendants in the adjoining apartment. Six 
strangers, with the Tuscan accent, had been observed 

2o8 MEMOIRS OF THE [1623 

about the palace the day before. From these circum- 
stances, and from his odious character, suspicions of foul 
play were entertained ; but most of the accounts which I 
have seen attribute his death to apoplexy, resulting prob- 
ably from premature and excessive dissipation. The body 
was opened, and no traces of poison were detected ; but a 
small quantity of water was found upon the brain, which 
the medical report attributed to over indulgence in athletic 
sports, and to the bushy thickness of his hair, which he 
greatly neglected. The most probable explanation of this 
catastrophe was that of the astrologer Andrea Argoli, 
who, after an elaborate calculation of the Prince's horo- 
scope, pronounced him to have died of an epileptic fit, 
induced by the chill of the morning air ; a conclusion 
dictated, no doubt, by medical experience, rather than by 
the study of those malignant planetary influences which 
the quack thought fit to quote as decisive of the ques- 

On the first alarm the Princess had rushed to the room, 
breaking through all opposition, and exclaiming, " What ! 
my Lord is ill, and am I not to see him ? " but finding him 
dead, she fainted. The chief anxiety of all was how to 
break the dire news to the " way-worn and way- wearied " 
Duke, who was suffering from a severe fit of gout, in his 
wonted retirement. At length, the Bishop of Pesaro, 
nominally head of the court, undertook the painful mission. 
Having arrived at Castel Durante, he sent in by a cham- 
berlain a sealed note, containing the words " The Prince is 
dead." This the Duke at first desired to be laid aside till 
later, with his other letters ; but on being told that the 
Bishop was in attendance, he read it without emotion, and 
exclaimed in Latin, " The Lord gave, the Lord hath taken 
away ; blessed be the name of the Lord." This Christian 
stoicism might seem inexplicable, but from the context of 
the narrative, which states that to the lamentations of his 
attendants, he without a sigh or tear supplied consolation, 

1623] DUKES OF URBINO 209 

assuring them that the event was irremediable, and one 
for which he had long been prepared ; and adding, with 
Sancho Panza-like resignation, " He who lives badly comes 
to a bad end, and one born by a miracle dies by violence." 
He then with perfect self-command gave directions neces- 
sary for the funeral, and for the exigencies of the govern- 
ment ; and at supper ordered the reading of Italian and 
Spanish books of edification to be continued as usual. 

In an age when omens were observed with a heathenish 
superstition, the people began to take note of these before 
they considered the recent event in its practical and politi- 
cal bearings. It was now recollected that the journey of 
the Prince and Princess, on their return from their mar- 
riage, had been interrupted, before they reached Pesaro, by 
an extraordinary tempest, which flooded their capital, and 
delayed their public entry. On the day month preceding 
Federigo's death, a flight of brown moths passed over 
Urbino towards the sea, darkening the air for hours. 
Again, during the fatal night, a strange and threatening 
cloud was seen by many to cast its gloomy shadow over 
that city, and, after successively assuming the forms of the 
eagle of Montefeltro, and the tree of Rovere, to disperse 
and vanish in the direction of Rome. Others saw serpents 
and similar monstrous apparitions wrestling in mid-air, 
and contributed their quota to the strange saws and mar- 
vellous instances which fed the popular craving for prodi- 
gies. It is scarcely necessary to observe that these facts, 
or at all events their application, had called for no remark 
until men's minds were filled with the catastrophe of which 
they were then interpreted as the precursors. But it may 
be thought singular that those who busied themselves in 
finding out ominous coincidences omitted to note a circum- 
stance chronicled by the often-cited Diary, that, on the 
2 1st of August, 1604, nine months before the Prince's 
birth, lightning struck the Duke's chamber at Castel 
Durante. Thunder on the left was hailed by the Roman 
III.— p 


augurs as lucky, but this visitation seems too violent for a 
good omen. 

The honours of a royal sepulture were lavished on one 
whose life had been thus unworthy of his station; and such 
was the magnificence displayed in the trappings of death 
that, besides many overcharged narratives of the funeral, 
portraits were multiplied of the Prince laid out in his 
richly-silvered robes. He was deposited in a tomb which 
Francesco Maria had destined for himself in the grotto or 
crypt of the metropolitan cathedral, with an inscription to 
the following purport : — 

In this tomb, 

Prepared for himself by 

Francesco Maria II., Last Duke of Urbino, 

Rest the ashes of 

His son Federigo, 

Who was cut off by a sudden death, 

On the 29th June, MDCXXill., 

Aged XVlll. years. 

On a tablet in the church of Sta. Chiara, his fate is 
thus touchingly commemorated : — " The waning day saw 
Federigo Prince of Urbino, in whom sank the house della 
Rovere, sound in health, and pre-eminent in every gift 
of fortune ; the succeeding dawn beheld him struck down 
by sudden death, on the 29th of June, 1623. Stranger! 
pass on, and learn that happiness, like the brittle glass, 
just when brightest is most fragile."^ 

The first year of the Prince's marriage had given him 
a daughter, born at Pesaro, on the 7th of February, 1622, 
whose advent, as we learn from her grandfather's Diary, was 
marked by the appearance of three suns in the heavens. 
She was baptized Vittoria, and was hailed by the Duke 
and his people with joyful anticipations of a fruitful union, 

^ See these and other monumental inscriptions of Urbino sovereigns, 
Appendix, No. VII. 

1623] DUKES OF URBINO 211 

which were destined never to be realised. Francesco 
Maria's age and infirmities cut off all hopes of a new 
alliance, and the male line of the Rovere race, to whom 
were limited the ducal dignity and state, was obviously 
doomed to extinction in his person. It was true that a 
similar failure of rightful heirs had, in the preceding 
century, been supplied by a substitution of the heir- 
general to this very fief; but that transaction was, in 
fact, a new investiture, dictated by papal nepotism, and 
scarcely veiled under the guise of a heritable title. The 
spirit of the papacy had, since then, been greatly changed 
in the ordeal of the Reformation ; and the ambition of its 
successive heads, purified from selfish motives, had been 
long concentrated upon advancing the spiritual and tem- 
poral supremacy of the Holy See. But here the question 
rested not merely on such general principles of law and 
policy. The foresight of Paul V. had interposed a barrier 
clause in the marriage contract of Federigo, whereby the 
Grand Duke's solemn renunciation of all pretensions 
in behalf of the female issue of that union was distinctly 

As soon as the widowed princess had rallied a little 
from an advent which, however shocking to her nerves, 
could not be supposed very long to weigh upon her feel- 
ings, she despatched a courier to Florence with the news, 
and soon prepared to leave for ever a country which she 
had adopted with bright hopes, quickly turned to bitter 
experience. After paying a brief visit to the Duke, in 
whose hands she left her child at Castel Durante, she 
returned to her family, to forget the troubled dream of 
the last two years. That she succeeded in banishing it 
from her thoughts may be presumed from her remarriage, 
three years after, to the Archduke Leopold of Austria ; 
and it is interesting to notice that the latest jotting in the 
Diary of her former father-in-law, long after its regular 
entries had ceased, runs thus : — " On 26th March, 1626, 

212 MEMOIRS OF THE [1623 

Count delle Gabiccie was sent to Florence to visit Donna 
Claudia, Archduchess of Austria." 

The situation into which Francesco Maria found him- 
self thrown by the Prince's death was one requiring the 
support of all that philosophy which it had been the 
chief pursuit of his life to attain. His house was desolate; 
his line suddenly extinguished ; his sovereignty about to 
lapse. But these crushing blows were accompanied by 
aggravating circumstances, which called for immediate 
exertion. The brief reign of Federigo had proved equally 
detrimental to his state and ruinous to himself The 
government was falling to pieces, the finances were in 
hopeless confusion. Thus was the literary retirement 
which the Duke had thought to secure from the residue of 
his life rudely interrupted, and the cares of sovereignty he 
had shaken off were thrown back upon him, more inex- 
tricable than ever. The good order at home and influence 
abroad, from thirty-seven years of prudent and popular 
sway, had, in two brief years, been scattered, and there 
remained to the old man but the choice of recommencing 
the labours of a lifetime, or abandoning the reins of 
government now thrust back into his unnerved hands. 
Judging from his dispositions and past history, it would 
not be difficult to conjecture which of these alternatives 
had the greater attraction ; yet at this juncture, sense of 
duty for a time triumphed over the dictates of inclination, 
and Francesco Maria showed himself every inch a 

After consulting for a few days with the Bishop of 
Pesaro, Count Francesco Maria Mammiani, his favourite, 
and Count Giulio Giordani, a friend of forty years' tried 
service, he thus matured his measures. The papal chair 
being vacated by the death of Gregory XV., on the 8th 
of July, he sent to the College of Cardinals an official 
intimation of his son's death, and a full assurance of 

i623] DUKES OF URBINO 213 

dutiful devotion. He accompanied the like notification 
to his subjects with an injunction for the election of a new 
council of eight, to whom he proposed to commit the 
administration of civil and criminal justice, for the burden 
of which his years were incompetent. To the widowed 
Princess he made every overture which affectionate sym- 
pathy could suggest. Finally, he resumed the ducal 
mantle, and the functions which he had so unfortunately 
devolved ; and, dismissing the whole administration which 
his son had employed, he entered upon the government, 
with the assistance of a small but select cabinet. His 
first thoughts were bestowed upon the destiny of his 
orphan grand-daughter, and, notwithstanding the sugges- 
tion of his counsellors, that he should keep her as an 
instrument whereby the policy of neighbouring powers, 
who would doubtless aspire to so eligible a match, might 
be made subservient to strengthen his relations abroad, he 
insisted upon some immediate arrangement, which would 
relieve him from the apprehension of leaving unprotected 
a prize so tempting to papal or princely ambition. The 
question was brought to a speedy solution by a well-timed 
offer from the Grand Duke Ferdinand H. of Tuscany, to 
receive and educate in his family his niece, and eventually 
to make her his consort, on condition of her being 
declared heiress of all the Duke's allodial and personal 
property. To secure the intimate alliance and support of 
the Medici had, as we have seen, long been the cherished 
policy of Francesco Maria, and the importance of a con- 
nection sufficiently powerful to maintain the rights of the 
Princess, in that revolution which must succeed imme- 
diately upon his death, was self-evident. But there was 
another consideration equally cogent, for, on the extinc- 
tion of her father's family, nature and law pointed out her 
maternal cousin as the most suitable guardian of her 
childhood and education. Having decided in favour of a 
proposal at once advantageous to his grand-daughter, and 

2 14 MEMOIRS OF THE [1623 

releasing him from one of the greatest anxieties of his 
position, the Duke lost no time in sending her to the 
court of Tuscany, under protection of Count and Countess 
Mammiani. Indeed, these arrangements were all con- 
cluded within four months of his son's death. 

On the 6th of August, the conclave elected Cardinal 
Maffeo Barberini, of a family originally Florentine, who 
had only attained his fifty-fifth year ; a man respectable 
at once from his talents, his habits of business, and his 
moral character. It was observed that, during the sittings 
of the conclave, a hive of bees swarmed under one of 
their windows, an incident rendered notable from the 
Barberini carrying that insect in their arms. On ascend- 
ing the chair of St. Peter, the first business which occu- 
pied Urban VIII. was the important accession to the 
ecclesiastical state promised by the Prince of Urbino's 
death. There was no legal doubt that the fief, limited to 
the male line of Guidobaldo II., must lapse on that of the 
old Duke ; but the struggles whereby church vassals had 
formerly supplied, by steel or gold, similar defects of con- 
stitutional title, were not forgotten, and the College of 
Cardinals looked upon the infant Princess as a subject of 
keen interest.*^ It was, therefore, not without jealousy 
that they learned her sudden betrothal to so powerful a 
sovereign ; and the Pontiff's remonstrances, though avow- 
edly grounded on the conclusion of that important trans- 
action without enabling him to display his friendly respect 
for the parties, were probably intended to keep the 
arrangement open for after cavil. A brief interval sup- 
plied new grounds for anxiety, on the arrival of a mes- 
senger from Francesco Maria with tidings of an overture 
on the part of the Emperor Ferdinand II., directly at 
variance with the pretensions of the Holy See, Ferdinand 
had accompanied his condolence with a proposal that the 

*^ Cf. Mcmorie istoriche concernenti la dcvoluzione dello stato d^ Urbino 
alia Sede Apostolica (Amsterdam, 1723). 

1623] DUKES OF URBINO 215 

Duke should recognise the imperial title to the countships 
of Montefeltro and Castel Durante on his death, as being 
original fiefs of the empire, and offered to renew the in- 
vestiture of these in favour of the infant heiress. But, 
faithful to his ecclesiastical allegiance, the Duke courteously- 
declined availing himself of a favour which seemed more 
likely to reawaken the slumbering controversies (though 
scarcely now the conflicts) between Guelph and Ghibel- 
line, than to secure any available benefit to Princess 
Vittoria. Pleading a disinclination to open up questions 
that might disturb the peace of his declining years, he 
left it to the Emperor, when these should close, to transact 
any such arrangement directly with the Holy See ; a reply 
which pleased neither him nor the Grand Duke. 

The Emperor being uncle of the Grand Duke, his pro- 
position could not be viewed in any other light than as 
an attempt to establish a legal basis for whatever claims 
on the states of Urbino it might suit the husband of 
Vittoria hereafter to make. It was accordingly met by 
Urban with very decided measures. He delegated three 
prelates of tried fidelity to the circumjacent provinces of 
the Church, with instructions to watch closely the affairs 
of the duchy, and, in case of any movement adverse to 
the ecclesiastical interests, to march troops at once across 
the frontier. He then made a formal appeal to the Duke, 
as the faithful and devoted adherent of the Holy See, to 
resign into its safe custody S. Leo, which, besides being 
considered the most impregnable fortress in Italy, was 
capital of the countship of Montefeltro, and formed part 
of the mortgage assigned by Clement VII. to the Medici, 
in security for alleged debts, still unsettled since the 
usurpation of Lorenzo de' Medici. This unceremonious 
proposition was accompanied by a distinct avowal of the 
Pope's resolve to make sure of the devolution to the eccle- 
siastical state of every morsel of the dukedom ; and an 
intimation that any refusal would necessitate military 

2i6 MEMOIRS OF THE [1623 

demonstrations at Rimini and Citta di Castello. So 
decided, indeed, was his Holiness to abate nothing of the 
renown which he anticipated from effecting this important 
accession to the pontifical temporalities, that he is said to 
have avowed his resolution to fall under the walls of 
Urbino, or be hanged on its battlements, rather than yield 
one tittle of his demands.*^ 

But this precipitation failed in its object. The Duke 
was startled by what seemed at best a harsh return for the 
leal and true faith towards his ecclesiastical over-lord which 
had actuated his conduct. His suspicions thus aroused 
placed him on the defensive in his interviews with the 
legate Pavoni, whose persuasions were coldly repelled, and 
whose tone of menace called up all the old man's pride. 
He briefly and indignantly replied that death alone should 
deprive him of a sovereignty which he was fully able to 
maintain ; that the extinction of his family was a dispensa- 
tion of God ; but that the Pontiff's demand was an insinua- 
tion against his good faith, which was far beyond question ; 
finally, that his Holiness would do well to await the close 
of his few remaining days, when he would obtain every- 
thing in the due course of nature. To show that he spoke 
in earnest, he the same night despatched a reinforcement 
to the garrison of S. Leo ; and his jealousy being thoroughly 
awakened, he refused to perform the alternative which the 
Legate had, with modified tone, suggested as a satisfactory 
solution of the difficulty, by writing a formal acknowledg- 
ment that his entire state was held under the Church, and 
a promise to do no act that might compromise or prejudice 
her rights over it. Monsignor Pavoni, interpreting some 
hasty expression of the Duke into a dismissal, was about 
to set out for Rome the same night ; but, having remained 

*^ It is curious to note the shameless zeal, astuteness, and cunning of the 
papacy in this matter. I believe a work on the subject is promised by Pro- 
fessor C. ScoTONi. The Pope could not have proved his right to Urbino 
in any tribunal. His claim was really more absurd than the claim of the 

1623] DUKES OF URBINO 217 

till morning to allow time for cooler consideration, he 
obtained, under the hand of his Highness, such a declara- 
tion as he had suggested. On his return, he met Cardinal 
Cennino, another ambassador whom the impatient anxiety 
of Urban had despatched to insist with still greater urgency 
on the original terms. It were useless and irksome to follow 
the thread of diplomatic intrigue now brought to bear on 
the poor bereaved Duke. He felt himself demeaned even 
by the document which he had consented to give; but 
when he found it was but a prelude to new demands, — 
when he ascertained that a war establishment was ready 
along the ecclesiastical frontier to pounce upon his territory 
on the slightest pretext, — and when he was actually called 
upon to administer to the governors of his principal for- 
tresses, and to the officers in command of his militia, an 
oath ensuring their allegiance to the Pope from the day of 
his own death, accompanied with a promise on his part not 
to appoint any one to those situations who had not taken 
a similar oath, indignation brought on an attack of illness 
which had nearly put an end to all difficulties by carrying 
him to the grave. This new misfortune, far from obtain- 
ing for the old man relief from these persecutions, stimu- 
lated the papal emissaries who surrounded him to fresh 
importunities. Urban's apprehensions were augmented 
by measures which Francesco Maria had taken for gar- 
risoning his principal fortresses with troops from Tuscany 
and Naples, and by rumours of a new intrigue for trans- 
ferring the hand of Vittoria to Leopold, son of the Em- 
peror, thus giving to the latter a direct interest in this 
already involved dispute, which Philip IV. of Spain, jealous 
of the prospective aggrandisement of the Church, showed 
every disposition still further to complicate. The Pope, 
in order to forward his views upon the duchy, had, without 
consulting the Duke, promoted Monsignor Paulo Emilio 
Santorio from the see of Cesena to be Archbishop of 
Urbino, a man of violent temper and coarse manners. 

2i8 MEMOIRS OF THE [1623 , 

whose nomination was regarded as an insult by Francesco 
Maria, and who injudiciously substituted threats for con- 
ciliation in his intercourse with the Duke. This example 
was followed by subordinate agents who surrounded his 
sick bed, and wore him out by alternately working on his 
irritable disposition, his avarice, and his superstitious belief 
in astrology. Every turn of his malady was watched, and 
reported to Rome as matter of hope or fresh anxiety, 
whilst his palace was beset by troublesome and meddling 

Nor were his negotiations with the Pontiff the only 
sources of irritation which daily accumulated upon the 
unhappy Francesco Maria. The cares of state, from 
which he had of late escaped, returned more irksomely 
than before. The brief misgovernment of the Prince 
had thrown upon him a greatly aggravated burden of 
anxiety and labour in the direction of these affairs ; and 
his old favourites and tried counsellors were dropping 
around him, just at the crisis when he most required their 
services. His constitution, impaired by years and broken 
by gout, gave way under his agony of mind, and a paraly- 
tic seizure made fresh breaches upon his system. With a 
frame thus enfeebled, a mind thus disgusted, he sent for 
Antonio Donato, a noble Venetian long resident at his 
court, who had been at various times employed in political 
affairs, and addressed him in words which his Narrative 
of these events has preserved to us : — 

" Your Lordship sees to what a condition God has 
reduced me. My house he has left unto me desolate : he 
has taken from me my dominion, my health, and my 
honour. I have sold myself to one skilful in profiting by 
my misfortunes : I am reduced to the shadow of sovereignty, 
and continually exposed to new inroads. To await death 
in so miserable a plight is impossible, to anticipate it were 
a crime : unable to recover what is gone from me, all now 
left me is to die without disgrace, after living for seventy- 

1624] DUKES OF URBINO 219 

six years with nothing to regret. To you I would impart 
my ideas, that we may consider whether, by surrendering 
what remains, I might mitigate my vexations, I think 
of entreating the Pope to send me any one he pleases, 
who may govern this country, dependent upon me and by 
virtue of my authority, which I shall delegate to him as 
fully as it is vested in my person. Thus may his Holiness 
more effectually secure the return of these states after my 
death under the sway of the Church, and thus will he be 
enabled to liberate me from the restraint of obligations 
and oaths, no longer necessary when his own deputy is 
invested with the government, leaving me, in these my 
last hours, time to think of death, and to prepare myself 
suitably to meet it, as I well know it cannot be distant. 
. . . And perhaps this plan, which I own is hard to 
digest, may be less irksome in practice than it now seems 
in discussion ; for in truth, I am no longer what I once 
was, nor ought I at this juncture to think but of my 
people's peace and my own. After all that has occurred, 
this ecclesiastical governor may prove the least annoying 
expedient ; at all events it will free me from the irri- 
tation and slavery which past events have brought upon 

After having at first argued against the measure thus 
suggested, Donato was at length induced to carry the 
proposal formally to the Pope, without previous con- 
sultation with any one else. Suspicious perhaps of so 
sudden a change in the sentiments of Francesco Maria, 
the Sacred College raised difficulties in order to gain time 
for deliberation ; but when, with his wonted impatience, 
he proposed to recall Donato and reconsider the matter, 
with a view to some other measure, the proffered devolu- 
tion was accepted without further delay. The papal brief 
to that effect was dated the loth December, 1624, and on 
the 20th, the Duke executed a blank warrant, making 
over his whole sovereign authority to the governor who 

220 MEMOIRS OF THE [1624 

might be named, and reserving only the empty name of 
his subject's allegiance. 

The Devolution was effected on the following terms. 
Along with all sovereign rights, there were conveyed to 
the Holy See the various fortified places in the duchy, 
and the residences at Urbino, Pesaro, and S. Leo. The 
Camera was allowed a preference in purchasing such 
warlike instruments, ammunition, and stores, as these 
places might contain, and was to pay to the Duke 100,000 
scudi in name of expenses and ameliorations. To him 
and his heirs were reserved the furniture and movables 
in these three residences, and the whole allodial posses- 
sions of the family, including the palaces of Castel 
Durante, Sinigaglia, Gubbio, Cagli, Fossombrone, Novi- 
lara, and Delia Carda ; the palazzetti or villas of Im- 
periale, Montebello, Monte Berticchio, Mirafiori, Velletta, 
and Barchetto, the three last being at Pesaro ; many 
parks, forests, vineyards, houses, and particularly thirty- 
two mills. The Grand Duke of Tuscany was a party 
to the deed of devolution, which was executed on the 
30th April, 1624, and he therein specially renounced for 
himself and his family all claim to the dukedom and 
states.^ The assertion of Muratori, that Francesco 
Maria often regretted this step is not borne out by any 
authorities I have consulted. 

In these arrangements the party most immediately 
interested had no voice, for the consent of the governed 
was then little studied in such transactions. Though the 
eloquent historian of the Italian republics maintains, upon 
true Guelphic principles, the blessings of the ecclesiastical 
sway compared with that of the petty seigneurs,*^ those 

^ Oliveriana MSS. No. 324. Many documents regarding these transac- 
tions are printed in Riposati, vol. II. 

*^ Here I heartily agree with Dennistoun. If the people preferred the 
ecclesiastical sway to that of the Signori, why was the whole state of Ur- 
bino so eager to get Francesco Maria II. married? And if we want another 
example from more recent times, why, in i860, did the people of Perugia 


who have read the preceding chapters may hesitate ere 
they apply this doctrine to the duchy of Urbino. Four 
times have we seen the people throw off the transient rule 
of the Church, and recall their native princes to maintain 
that microscopic nationality which, to an Italian, is far 
dearer than personal liberty. Guicciardini admits that 
those who, under the princes, were maintained in ease 
with little personal exertion, generally hated papal 
domination. But under the popular dynasty of those 
dukes whose lives we have endeavoured to sketch, the 
loyalty implanted by selfishness was watered by affection, 
until its mature growth overshadowed the land. The 
extinction of their race was therefore bewailed by a 
grateful people, whose degradation to provincialism was 
felt as a still greater, and, in the circumstances, an irre- 
mediable misfortune. 

It is but justice to Urban to contrast his conduct on 
this occasion with the eagerness displayed by many of his 
predecessors for the aggrandisement of their own houses, 
by investing them with the lapsed fiefs of the Church. 
The obstacles to such an arrangement were no doubt 
increased by the altered spirit of the age, by the curtailed 
influence of the papacy, by the watchful jealousy of the 
great powers, and by numerous bulls directed against 
such alienations. Yet other ambitious pontiffs had 
trampled upon parchments, had braved public opinion, 
and had deluged Italy in blood for less tempting baits, 
and Muratori hints that such an attempt might, in the 
present case, have been sanctioned by Spain. Whilst, 
therefore, we blame the discourteous manner in which his 
Holiness made the aged Duke feel, with unnecessary 
acuteness, his bereaved and enfeebled position, we give 

turn out en masse and tear down the papal fortress, leaving a desert, which 
they still gloat over, in its place? The temporal rule of the Church has 
been bad everywhere at all times and in every way. That is why we have 
beggared her. 

222 MEMOIRS OF THE [1628 

him credit for a self-denying policy becoming the head of 
a Christian church.*^ 

The first governor delegated by the Pope was Mon- 
signor Berlinghieri Gessi, Bishop of Rimini, who took pos- 
session on the 1st January, 1625. The Duke assigned to 
him his palaces, and a salary of 2000 scudi, paying also the 
other officials, and the only internal change in the govern- 
ment was the dismissal of the council of Eight. Indeed, 
the deference shown by the people for those forms under 
which they had long been governed, obtained a guarantee 
for their continuance during ten years ; and we are told 
that the chief innovation upon them consisted in an 
extension of literary academies, which had been dis- 
couraged by Francesco Maria on an apprehension of their 
taking a political tendency.^ In January, 1626, the Bishop 
received a scarlet hat, and was succeeded as governor 
three years subsequently by Monsignor Lorenzo Cam- 
peggi, Bishop of Cesena, afterwards of Sinigaglia who 
held that office until the death of Francesco Maria. 

But, though happy to escape from the personal superin- 
tendence of the government, 

" The old man, broken with the storms of state," 

did not consider himself exempted from all concern in the 
welfare of his subjects. We accordingly find, in a collection 
of his letters made by his secretary Babucci,^ a very long 
remonstrance addressed to Cardinal Gessi regarding cer- 
tain malversations in the management of public affairs. 
His complaints were directed against abuses of patronage, 

*^ This is amusing of Urban VIII., of whom Pasquino said — 
" Qtiod no7i fecerunt Barbari 
Feceriint Bafberini." 

- Brit. Mus. Lib. Add. MSS. Ital. No. 85 ii, art. 3. 

^ Dr. Antonio Babucci transcribed for the press a number of letters written 
by the Duke after the Devolution, and dedicated them to the Grand Duchess 
Vittoria. The MS. is preserved in the Magliabechiana Library, class xxv. 
No. 77, and fully bears out the commendation we have given to his epistolary 
style at p. 213. 


by conferring places of trust upon young and inexperienced 
persons, especially in the army, where many officers were 
rather children than soldiers ; against a laxity of manners 
and conversation among the women, extending even to 
the nunneries ; against the indiscriminate bearing of arms, 
which had already led to numerous homicides, and to the 
extirpation of game in the preserves. To Campeggi, the 
next governor, he complains, in 1628, of an increasing ex- 
penditure with impaired revenues. 


The Duke's monkish seclusion — His Death and Character — His Portraits and 
Letters — Notices of Princess Vittoria and her Inheritance — Fate of the 
Ducal Libraries — The Duchy Incorporated with the Papal States — Results 
of the Devolution. 

jA FTER his release from the cares of state, and from 
/^L all anxiety as to the fate of his subjects and of 
/ — ^ his grand-daughter, Francesco Maria was left 
-JL JL. to employ his unimpaired powers of mind on 
more congenial topics. His few remaining years were 
passed in the society of those monks of the order of 
Minims,*^ whom he had brought to the new convent, 
and who had been selected for their literary acquire- 
ments. He made them the companions and aids of his 
studies, and discussed with them such subjects as his 
reading suggested. Though ever respectful of the doctrines 
and observances of religion, fanaticism had no part in his 
character ; and it is clear from his last will, and other 
evidence, that, in circumstances peculiarly favourable to an 
undue exercise of priestly influence, he kept himself free 
from its thraldom. Yet was he exemplary in pious 
preparation for the change which his sinking frame, as well 
as his philosophy, taught him to regard as at hand. To 
blighted hopes, parental anguish, and a desolate old age, 
were added great bodily sufferings. Gout, to which he had 
been subject from his thirty-fourth year, had by degrees so 
twisted his limbs that he was fed like a child, and a fresh 

*^ An order not of monks but of friars, founded by S. Francis of Paola 
in Calabria in 1436. The rule is based on the Franciscan, and the religious 
are mendicants. 



paralytic seizure at length completed his decrepitude. 
Still, amid 

" The waste and injury of time and tide," 

his mind continued unclouded. To the end his letters 
maintained their clear and graceful style ; and the frequent 
correspondence he kept up with his grand-daughter, a child 
in years rather than in ideas, formed the latest link that 
connected his thoughts and hopes with mundane objects. 
Of this correspondence, so creditable to the hearts of the 
writers, a few specimens will be found at p. 220. 

The registers of the Roman convent of Minims of 
S. Lorenzo *i enable us to trace the closing scenes of the 
old man's feeble existence. During the autumn of 1630 
a change took place, and he was chiefly confined to bed 
during the subsequent winter. The rapid decay of his 
digestive organs was accelerated by rigid fastings during 
Lent, in which he persisted despite of his confessor's 
remonstrances. From the debilitating effects of this 
discipline, exhausted nature could not rally; but life ebbed 
so slowly, that four days elapsed after extreme unction 
had been administered, ere his flickering pulse was still. 
At length, on the 28th of April, 1631, he passed away, 
bewailed by his subjects, regretted by all Italy. To the 
citizens of Castel Durante his death was an especial 
bereavement. " They wept for a beloved father, the 
chastener of the bad, the rewarder of the good, the stay 
and advocate of the poor, the protector of the orphan, 
the support of the weak and oppressed, the consoler of 
the afflicted, the benefactor of all."- Thus deprived of the 
glorious and desired shade and shelter of their goodly 
OAK, which, transplanted from the Ligurian shores, had 
branched out so boldly in their mountain soil, his people 

•^ This I know not. Their present Casa generalizia is at S. Andrea 
delle Fratte. The basilica of S. Lorenzo is now in the care of the Fran- 

2 CiMARELLi, Istoria dello Stato d' Urhino. 

III.— Q 

226 MEMOIRS OF THE [1631 

saw their independence extinguished, and their position in 
provincial insignificance riveted for ever. 

He lay in state during two days, arrayed in the ducal 
mantle of silver tissue lined with purple taffetas ; on his 
head a coronet of gold surmounted the velvet cap of 
maintenance ; the collar of the Fleece was on his neck, 
the ring on his finger, the sceptre in his hand. In these 
trappings of sovereignty, a last tribute to the station 
which he had quitted for ever, and which none remained 
to fill, he was by his own desire interred. Seven years 
before, he had prepared for himself an unornamented 
tomb under the holy-water vase in the church of the 
Crucifixion, at Castel Durante. There he chose his final 
resting-place, amid sites endeared as the scene of his 
youthful sports, the relaxation of his busy manhood, the 
retreat of his chastened age. Thither he was escorted by 
a procession of five hundred gentlemen, besides a numer- 
ous attendance of priests and monks. Each of the latter 
received a scudo and a pound of wax ; and by one of them, 
Padre Ludovico Munaxho, the funeral oration was pro- 
nounced. At his own desire, this prayer, from the liturgy 
of his church, was inscribed under the front, in lieu of 
epitaph : — " O Lord, incline thine ear to our prayers, 
wherein we supplicate thy mercy, and that thou wouldst 
establish in peace, and in the realms of the elect, the soul 
of thy servant Francesco Maria II., Duke of Urbino, 
which thou hast summoned from this life, and that thou 
wouldst ordain it to be received into the company of thy 
saints, through Christ our Saviour. Amen. He died in 
the year of God MDCXXXI., and of his age LXXXIII." 

The character of Francesco Maria presented many 
strange contradictions. The manifold inconsistencies of 
his precepts and practice have already been pointed out; 
and the opinions of his contemporaries varied, not only from 
the estimate with a perusal of such memorials as I have 

From a picture once in the possession of James Dennistcjm 

i63i] DUKES OF URBINO 227 

discovered of his reign would lead one to form, but also 
from each other. It may be well to give the judgments 
of those who had best opportunities of forming just con- 
clusions, leaving the reader to reconcile their discrepancies. 
Donate, his chief counsellor in the Devolution of his state, 
whose experience was chiefly of his latter years, writes of 
him as follows : — 

" For sixty years did he enjoy his dukedom, ever loved 
but ever feared by his subjects, and highly esteemed by 
foreigners. Having had always about him the most 
famous literary characters of his time, having himself 
mastered many sciences, and read a multitude of books, it 
would be difficult in a few words to do justice to his finished 
knowledge, to his acute genius, to his profound memory, 
to his elegant and unaffected style in speaking and in writ- 
ing, to his intimate acquaintance with natural history and 
geography, as well as with the political relations of states. 
Nor was he less skilled in the more important acquire- 
ments of theology and sacred subjects, upon which he was 
accustomed to dispute with those whose business it was 
to teach these doctrines. He was a prince of great piety, 
of exemplary manners, of austere address. He lived as 
a sovereign, but spoke like a simple gentleman. His 
modesty veiled the pride of his station ; his strict justice 
obtained for him the respect due to a king ; his conduct 
was on all occasions exemplary. Fond of despatch, he 
was impatient of dilatory measures and superfluous dis- 
cussions. He would have been a paragon for princes, and 
worthy of undying fame, had not the irritability which 
unaccountably swayed his temper, and his violent fits 
of passion in matters regarding himself, hurried, him 
unrestrained by his many virtues into numerous excesses 
and errors. Among such may be accounted his throwing 
up the reins to his son, his abandoning himself to the 
guidance of favourites, his credulous adherence to first 
impressions, his abhorrence of those who had once 

228 MEMOIRS OF THE [1631 

alienated his regard. Timid and suspicious from his 
solitary habits, he was averse to generosity, cautious in 
his expenditure, but, punctual to his promises, was fully 
to be relied upon for an exact performance of his word. 
In person he was well-proportioned, neither stout nor 
thin. He was a good knight, skilled in arms and eques- 
trian exercises ; he was devoted to the chase and all 
manly exercises ; attached to persons of accomplishment 
and high birth." 

Thus speaks his courtier Donato ; and he is in the main 
confirmed by a somewhat less favourably coloured testi- 
mony from Gozze, who seems to have been a contemporary, 
and whose narrative is contained in No. 324 of the Olive- 
riana MSS. According to it, he was singularly active, 
skilful in all manly exercises, and particularly fond of 
racket and of hunting. He was hasty in temper and in 
speech ; impatient of contradiction, and obstinate ; so 
cunning that one scarcely knew when he was in favour. 
He had much practical good sense, but was wayward, 
choleric, discontented, selfishly inconsiderate of those 
about him, and, having taken offence, was apt to brood 
over and resent it. He was most exact in business, and 
habitually regular in its duties; punctual in payments, 
but most strict in accounting with those who managed 
his affairs. He was fond of magnificence, and maintained 
a numerous court, though less brilliant than his father's. 
He had but one favourite at a time, keeping all others at 
a distance ; indeed, his stern manner overawed even when 
his words were gracious. He was handsome, in person 
scrupulously nice, but neither effeminate nor extravagant 
in his habits. His disposition was retired and melancholy, 
and he indulged it much by reading, writing, or walking 
in solitude. He was ostensibly devout, and was regular 
in the observance of religious duties. He spoke and 
wrote very well and solidly, studying a terse and simple 
style. His tastes were decidedly literary, with a partiality 

i63i] DUKES OF URBINO 229 

for the graver sciences, and he ever maintained about him 
persons distinguished in letters and art. 

Writing at an interval of nearly a century and a half 
after his death, but with the advantage of access to many 
original documents, Passeri thus characterises Francesco 
Maria II. "In him military skill, intercourse with courts, 
and scientific studies, combined to form the rare instance 
of a sovereign philosopher. No prince of the day was 
more wise, more courtly, or more attached to his people ; 
and his systematic government by means of excellent 
ministers might be adopted as a model. To men of letters 
he paid the greatest honour, and he willingly sought their 
converse ; none such ever passed through Pesaro whom 
he did not receive with distinction. It was his desire to 
introduce all sorts of manufactures, that his subjects might 
have no occasion to send their money abroad for the pur- 
chase of necessaries; indeed, they exported silks, woollens, 
leather, and majolica, which produced a large balance over 
their imports. The improvement of agriculture shared 
his anxious care, and the means he adopted to effect this 
merit high encomium. He wrought to advantage the iron 
mines of Lamole, and those of copper at Gubbio. Thus 
did his state become populous and wealthy, while lightly 
taxed, for the expenses of his court were nearly limited to 
the income of his private estates, and to the profits derived 
from the importation of grain out of the dominions of the 
Church. He maintained a sort of standing militia of 
thirteen thousand men in the pay of Spain, who, in peace, 
pursued their occupations at home, but, in war, were placed 
under the command of that power. From this arrange- 
ment great benefit resulted ; for thus had the military 
spirit, for which the country had always been remarkable, 
an ample and safe outlet, whilst the talents so developed 
often led to individual distinctions and promotion." 

From a narrative of Urbino, compiled in 1648,^ we 

1 Maruccelli MSS. C. No. 308. 

230 MEMOIRS OF THE [1631 

gather one or two anecdotes of this Duke. When irritated 
he used to apply contemptuous epithets to his various 
cities, founded upon the temperament he had discovered 
in their inhabitants. Thus he called the people of Urbino 
proud and foul-mouthed ; those of Pesaro, cowards ; of 
S. Leo, Mantuan sheep ; of Cagli, bum-bailiffs ; of Fossom- 
brone, tax-gathers ; for the citizens of Mondavio alone 
he reserved a compliment, saying that they were born 
courtiers. Though fond of letters, he ever set his face 
against the establishment of academies, alleging that they 
might degenerate into revolutionary conventicles. To the 
just views which guided his political arrangements the 
best testimony is supplied by the fact above mentioned, 
that his people interceded for a prolongation of all his 
government institutions during the ten years succeeding 
the Devolution, and that, Urban having consented, these 
were found so well adapted to the well-being of the 
province, that they remained undisturbed after that 
period of probation had expired. 

In person, Francesco Maria was handsome, and, from 
being puny and stunted in childhood, grew up active and 
graceful, but with a complexion of almost effeminate 
beauty. He was, therefore, fortunate in having for his 
court painter one whose men and women, as Sir Joshua 
Reynolds has happily remarked, seem nourished by roses. 
Although it is improbable that Baroccio executed the 
swaddled effigy of him in the Pitti Gallery, there can 
be little question that the four portraits we shall now 
mention are by that artist. One of these, in the Tribune 
of the Ufiizii at Florence, with a repetition of equal 
merit in Baron Camuccini's choice collection at Rome, 
represents to perfection a strikingly elegant youth in the 
gorgeous uniform worn on his naval expedition in 1571.*^ 
There is in my possession a half-length, with one of 

*^ No longer in the Tribuna, but in the Sala di Baroccio. It is the 
painter's masterpiece [Cat. No. 1 1 19]. 


Ambrogio Baroccio's curious time-pieces upon the table, 
which came from the Durazzo Gallery at Genoa ; and the 
head introduced above, at p. 151, done in full manhood, 
when the cares of sovereignty had begun to furrow his 
features with " lines of anxious thought," was purchased 
by me at Pesaro, in 1843. In the Antaldi Palace there, 
I saw a head of this Duke ascribed to Baroccio, but 
evidently done some years after his death. It is a slight 
sketch, thrown off at a sitting, and painfully preserving 
features whereon age and sickness, sorrow and anxiety, 
have set their seal. Portraiture can show no contrast 
more startling than that time-worn figure, with glassy eye 
and ghastly visage, offers to the glowing cheek and 
gallant bearing of the richly accoutred hero of Lepanto. 
But still more melancholy the change that had come 
over the man, then gladsome in youthful beauty, rising 
fame, and chivalrous hope, burning to enjoy the advan- 
tages of high station, to maintain and transmit the respect 
and popularity of a long-honoured name. 

We have referred to letters of the Duke written during 
his last years, as interesting expressions of his state of 
mind. Besides the collection of Babucci already quoted, a 
considerable number of these are preserved in two other 
MSS. in the same library ; also many others, addressed by 
her relations to the Princess Vittoria, with her answers, 
dated between 1627 and 1632.^ The whole exceed two 
hundred in number, and form a series of royal corres- 
pondence equally remarkable for Christian sentiment and 
domestic affections. In the following pages we give literal 
translations of a few of them, which pleasingly illustrate 
these virtues in the Duke and Duchess, in their daughter- 
in-law, now remarried to the Archduke Leopold, and in 
the young Princess herself By the first letter, the Arch- 
duchess announces to her daughter the birth of a brother ; 
by the second, Francesco Maria intimates his confidence 

^ Magliabechiana MSS., class viii., Nos. 60, 61. 

232 MEMOIRS OF THE [1631 

in the husband he had chosen for his grandchild. In Nos. 
3 and 6 the warmth of his attachment to her is gracefully- 
tinged with the pious resignation of a dying Christian. 
Nos. 4 and 5 relate to his making over to her his family 
jewels, a precaution, perhaps, against any difficulties that 
might arise after his decease. No. 7 was his last letter, 
dictated about a month before his release from sufferings. 
The remaining four refer to that event, and to the affliction 
of his nearest relatives. 

I. The Archduchess Claudia to the Princess Vittoria. 

" My most serene and beloved daughter, 
" Now that you have obtained from God your little 
brother, after, as you tell me, having prayed for him (who, 
when he is grown tall, will love you well), it remains for 
you to thank the same God, who is the giver of all good. 
You say that you wish to have this little brother for your- 
self ; and I agree to humour you under these conditions : 
First, that your prayers obtain for me another next year ; 
second, that you come hither yourself to take him, so that 
you may have the pleasure of seeing me, and I you ; third, 
that, in the meantime, you in everything obey Madam 
[the Dowager Grand Duchess] and your other superiors, 
and that you often pray for the health of the Lord Duke, 
to whom you owe so much. And now I and my Lord 
your [step] father [the Archduke Leopold] give you our 
blessing, beseeching for you a divine one much more ample 
and perpetual. 3rd June, 1628. 

" Your most affectionate mother, 

" Claudia." 

2. The Duke Francesco Maria to the Princess Vittoria. 

" Your Highness having now attained the age of seven, 
his serene Highness the Grand Duke, your betrothed 
husband, has intimated to me that, the better to secure his 
intentions in your behalf from the speculations and gossip 

i63o] DUKES OF URBINO 233 

of the public, he will forthwith voluntarily contract with 
you the sacred rite of marriage. But, as I have adopted 
my measures, after taking every conjuncture into account, 
I cannot allow myself to suppose any purpose of drawing 
back in the mind of a prince of his station, endued with 
virtues which must ever render him estimable to posterity, 
and a worthy grandson of the great Ferdinand. I have, 
therefore, declined his request, and have offered my con- 
sent that the contracts already executed and concluded 
between us should be carried into effect when most agree- 
able to himself. And, though I should not be then a 
party to these arrangements, as, surely, I am little likely 
to be, considering the years and ails which, lame as I am, 
hurry me with long and great strides towards the tomb, 
yet is it my hope to behold from heaven the comfort of 
your Highness, which I pray God may be perpetual, and 
uninterrupted by any misfortune. I have informed you of 
this that you may be aware of what is going on, and I 
salute you," &c. 

3. The Duke Frajicesco Maria to the Princess Vittoria. 

" Most serene Lady, my grandchild, 

" Your Highness has much reason to send me happiness, 
for, as I am so closely united to you, and love you so 
much, it will all return to you for your own benefit. But, 
feeling myself reduced to such a state that I can no longer 
find it in this world, I shall take it as a great favour that 
your Highness pray God Almighty to grant me, instead 
of such enjoyments as are prized in this life, patience 
amid the great sufferings wherewith he visits me, and to 
account these as meritorious for my glory in the next. 
Keep yourself well and joyous ; love me as always ; and 
command my paternal benediction : and I kiss your 
hands. From Castel Durante, 7th January, 1630. 

" Your Highness's servant, and grandfather, who loves 
you from his heart, THE DUKE OF Urbino." 

234 MEMOIRS OF THE [1630 

4. The Duke Francesco Maria to the Princess Vittoria. 

" I send to your Highness all the jewels remaining in 
this house after its many calamities, and I consign them 
to you during my life, since God knows what may happen 
after my death. Your Highness will accept them in token 
of my sincere affection towards you, and in good time will 
ornament with them your person, forgetting not first to 
adorn your mind with those virtues which become ladies 
of your station, and which may render you more and 
more dear to your most serene husband. And so I salute 
your Highness." [9th April, 1630.] 

5. Tlie Princess Vittoria to the Duke Francesco Maria. 

" Most serene Lord, my most respected grandfather, 
" I know that I ought always to pray God more for your 
Highness's health and long life, seeing how, for affection 
to me, you never cease to consider what may be for my 
benefit. On Saturday morning I received your Highness's 
letter of the 9th, by your master of the wardrobe, and had 
the greatest joy in hearing that your Highness has been 
pleased to send me the jewels. Yesterday too, after 
breakfasting at the palace with Madam my most serene 
grandmother, and the Lady Princess Anna, I had such 
delight in seeing them all in presence of the most 
serene Grand Duke my spouse. And as they are already 
brought to this convent, your Highness may rest assured 
that they will be kept in safe custody, and will serve to 
adorn me as I may choose, as well as the others of the 
most serene Archduchess my mother, which also I will- 
ingly believe she will reserve for me. The thanks I shall 
render to your Highness are my prayers for your behalf, 
which I shall continue devoutly to offer several times a 
day, having no other way of doing you a service ; and 
I give you my most humble duty with all my heart. 
From Florence, 15th April, 1630." 

i63i] DUKES OF URBINO 235 

6. The Dtike Francesco Maria to the Princess Vittoria. 

" Most serene Lady, my granddaughter, 
" I am sorry to trouble your Highness with so many of 
my letters, but the love I bear you, and the news I have 
from your city so contrary to my wishes, compel me to 
this. Your Highness must therefore bear with it, and 
believe that in writing I fancy myself with you, and find 
in this a satisfaction even beyond what I derive from 
knowing that you are settled where no demonstration of 
courtesy and affection will ever be wanting to you. I 
pray God to send a change of weather, that so I may feel 
assured your Highnesses are exempt both from danger 
and from its consequent anxieties. I augur for your 
Highness a continuance of health and every good ; and 
I endearingly kiss your hands. From Castel Durante, 
29th November, 1630. 

" Your Highness's servant, and grandfather, 
who loves you from his heart, 

"The Duke of Urbino." 

7. The Duke Fra7icesco Maria to the Princess Vittoria. 

" Most serene Lady, my granddaughter, 
" My usual ailments have for the last several days so 
harassed me, that the prayers which your Highness ad- 
dresses to God for me have been most appropriate. For 
these I heartily thank you, and since His great goodness 
gives me a hope that the Almighty listens to them, I beg 
of you to continue them for that divine assistance of which 
we all have need, but I in particular, who in age bear so 
many additional ills. I hear from the letters of your most 
serene spouse, that he, your Highness, and all his most 
serene house are in health, and that the prevailing epidemic 
may be considered extinct. On this I heartily congratu- 
late your Highness, of whom I would daily learn some 
new good fortune and happiness, and by such would 

236 MEMOIRS OF THE [1631 

esteem myself fully recompensed for the sufferings to 
which my few remaining days must be subject. And 
with all my heart I kiss your Highness's hands. From 
Castel Durante, 2nd April, 163 1. 

"Your Highness's servant, and grandfather, 
who loves you heartily, 

" The Duke of Urbino." 

8. The Duchess Livia to the Princess Vittoria. 

" Most serene Lady, my beloved granddaughter, 
" As, by connection of blood and of affection, our conso- 
lations are in common, so also are our griefs and afflictions. 
We have lost, by the death of the most serene Lord Duke, 
more than I am able to express on paper, but I know that 
your Highness's ready comprehension will be sensible of 
this. It pains me to have to send you the sad and mourn- 
ful tidings of his death, which took place last Monday, 
about half-past three o'clock ; but since I could not give 
you such news without sorrow, I pray you to excuse me 
and console yourself, as I myself do in so far as possible. 
And I affectionately kiss your hands, only adding that to 
ensure your receiving it I have sent a duplicate of this. 
Castel Durante, 2nd May, 163 1. 

"Your Highness's servant, and most affectionate 
mother, who loves you more than herself, 

"LiviA Duchess of Urbino." 

9. The Princess Vittoria to the Duchess Livia. 

" My most serene Lady, and respected grandmother, 
" I feel deeply the bad news of my grandfather, and 
though they do not say he is dead, I much fear it, for they 
do not speak plainly. Should it have pleased God to call 
him to glory after such sufferings, I cannot but pray for 
his soul in my devotions. And in the extreme grief which 
I shall feel under so great a bereavement, and so heavy a 


loss, I shall beseech your Highness to consent to come and 
stay in this serene family, where I know you are much 
wished by all their Highnesses, for this will be the utmost 
consolation I could have. Meanwhile I await that of your 
Highness's letters and commands, and I make you my 
reverence, praying God to grant you every happiness. 
From Florence, 3rd May, 163 1." 

10. The Princess Vittoria to the Archduchess Claudia. 

" My most serene Lady, and respected mother, 
" The most serene Lord Duke my grandfather is at 
length dead, to my infinite sorrow, and I seem to stand 
abandoned by all ; for I never knew other father but him ; 
and your Highness, though my mother, is so far away, 
that I feel not the warmth of your affection, as I in some 
measure felt that of my Lord grandfather, by his proxi- 
mity and the frequent comfort I had from his loving 
letters and other tokens. Your Highness will therefore 
sympathise with me, whilst I condole with you on so great 
a loss and severe a misfortune, and I beseech you to give 
me what consolation you can. And I make you my rever- 
ence, praying God ever to increase your happiness. From 
Florence, loth May, 163 1." 

1 1 . The A rchduchess Claudia to the Princess Vittoria. 

" Princess, my beloved daughter, 
"The regret has been universal for the departure of your 
grandfather, the Lord Duke of Urbino, to a better life, and 
for the loss of a prince who maintained the superiority of 
his rank by that of his merits ; no wonder, therefore, that 
it has been so great in you, for this is just by the laws of 
blood, and due as a debt of gratitude. I too have found 
it bitter, partly on your account, partly from my own ob- 
ligations. But considering that the good Lord has gone 
from us at an age when life began to be a burden, and 

238 MEMOIRS OF THE [1631 

death desirable, I resign myself to the divine will, con- 
forming to that which He had from eternity ordained. 
This surely you also have done, after the first bursts of 
feeling, to which, rather than to your reason, I ascribe your 
lamenting to me your bereavement of him as a loss of all 
support, and your entire abandonment. And, my daughter, 
I should be much distressed, did I not believe that by this 
time you have changed that view, so injurious to the affec- 
tionate solicitude your Lord grandfather took in so well 
providing for your future. Though distant from you, I 
bear you in my heart, and your little brothers grow up 
with a thousand inducements to love and serve you, 
prompted by nature and my suggestions. Their High- 
nesses, too, are always most disposed to caress and honour 
you, in particular Madam my Lady [Dowager Grand 
Duchess], who will fill my place in administering with 
watchful affection to all your sympathies and wants. You 
have likewise your lady grandmother, whom you should 
ever most affectionately respect, and from whom you may 
expect a lively interest in your welfare and success. You 
have, lastly, what is still more important, the protection of 
the Lord God, provided you fail not to deserve it, by ac- 
quiring those virtues, which, if displayed by you, will prove 
to the world that the glory of our race is not entirely ex- 
tinguished. Be careful, then, to grow up cheerfully ; and 
be it your aim to fulfil the expectations generally enter- 
tained of your good abilities, assured that the greater your 
attainments the more will be my comfort in you. Humbly 
kiss in my name the hem of your serene grandmother, and 
beseech the blessed Lord our Saviour that he would listen 
to my prayers and longings, the first of which are for your 
prosperity and happiness. From Inspruck, the 24th May, 

" Your most affectionate mother from the heart, 

" Claudia." 


Princess Vittoria seems to have merited the affections 
of her relations, so warmly expressed in these and many 
similar letters. On arriving at her future capital, she had 
been placed for education in a convent, where her progress 
was so rapid that before she was eight years old, she com- 
posed as well as penned her letters, and within two other 
years could write them in Spanish. From the period of 
her betrothal, she was always addressed as Grand Duchess, 
and her marriage was privately celebrated in 1633, when 
she was under twelve, her husband being then double her 
age. Four years later, the public celebration of this union 
took place with suitable demonstrations of joy, and in due 
time it produced two sons, Cosimo, afterwards Grand Duke, 
and Francesco Maria, Cardinal de' Medici. In her grand- 
son, the Grand Duke Giovanni Gaston, the male line of the 
Medici expired in 1737, when their state passed to the 
house of Lorraine. The portraits of Vittoria preserved in 
the Pitti Gallery represent her as an overgrown but comely 
matron, of good-humoured expression. Her matured 
character did not realise its early promise. Proud, vain, 
suspicious, and weak, she inherited her grandfather's pre- 
dilection for the society of priests ; and her bigotry, in- 
creasing with her years, so contrasted with the frank and 
lively temperament of her husband, that a separation be- 
came advisable. These faults she transmitted to her 
favourite son Cosimo, under whose reign they bred many 
public evils. She died in 1694, after twenty-four years of 
widowhood, disliked by her subjects as much as her hus- 
band had been esteemed. The Duchess Livia retired a few 
weeks after her bereavement to her paternal estate of 
Castel Leo, near Sassoferrato, where she lived in great 
retirement, and in religious exercises, varied by visits to 
Assisi and Loreto. She left her whole property to her 
grand-daughter the Grand Duchess Vittoria. 

The Duke must have taken great pleasure in will-mak- 
ing, as his Diary frequently mentions his being employed 

240 MEMOIRS OF THE [1631 

in that way. At his death it would seem that more than 
one valid testament was found, the general provisions of 
which, as stated in a contemporary abstract,^ were as 
follows : — He desired to be buried in the church of the 
Crucifixion at Castel Durante, and that two thousand 
masses should be said for his soul. He instituted his 
grand-daughter Vittoria his universal heir and executrix, 
burdened with these legacies : To his Duchess Livia, 
50,000 scudi, and an annuity of 4000 scudi ; to his sister, 
the Marchioness del Vasto, the palace and garden at 
Montebello, in which she was living ; to the Marquis of 
Pescara, a jewel, a gold watch, and 2000 scudi ; to the 
Duke of Modena, the Marquis del Vasto, and the Cardinals 
Farnese and de' Medici, each a gold watch ; to the 
Zoccolantine monastery in the park of Castel Durante, 
50,000 scudi; among his servants 12,000 scudi; to the 
community of Urbino, the library of MSS. and printed 
books in his palace there, with the Campo dei Galli under 
the fortress for maintenance of a librarian ; to the convent 
of Minims, at Castel Durante, the library he had at that 
residence. In case of the death of his grand-daughter 
without issue, he substituted the Dukes of Parma, Modena, 
and Aiello, to his succession. 

The inheritance thus conveyed was immense. The 
lowest estimate I have seen states its amount at 2,000,000 
of golden scudi, though probably somewhat impaired by a 
litigation which arose with the Camera Apostolica, in con- 
sequence of involved questions, as to what were public and 
what allodial rights of the late Duke. It included lands 
in Naples worth 50,000 scudi, and estates in the duchy, 
which, in 1648, were computed to yield 15,000 scudi a 
year, besides the residences and their dependencies, worth 
4000 more.- The personal property was valued at 
340,000 ducats, exclusive of family jewels previously sent 

^ Magliabechiana MSS., class viii. , No. 74. 

^ Maruccelli MSS. C. No. 308. Mercurius Gallicus, 1624. 


to the Princess, and of the libraries otherwise be- 

The fate of the two famous Urbino hbraries deserves 
more special inquiry, and it is very disappointing to offer 
but a meagre result. Those who have glanced over our 
eighth chapter will be aware that the collection of MSS. 
made by Duke Federigo was the wonder of his age, and 
the admiration of all who have celebrated the glories of his 
lettered dynasty. The circumstances under which it was 
amassed, the accommodation provided for it in the palace 
of Urbino, and the most beautiful of its contents, have 
already been introduced to the reader. The losses it had 
sustained during the Borgian usurpation by plunder and 
accident were, we are assured by Paulo Maria, bishop of 
that metropolitan see, nearly supplied by the anxious care 
of succeeding Dukes ; and, though none of these appear to 
have been bibliomanes, literary as they were in taste, and 
ever surrounded by men of high acquirement, it may be 
supposed that their library was from time to time recruited 
with works issuing from the press. But this casual supply 
was inadequate to the wants of the studious Francesco 
Maria II. Instead of disturbing the old library at Urbino, 
he drew from all quarters to his residence at Pesaro a 
numerous and choice store of printed books which he 
eventually transported to Castel Durante, for the amuse- 
ment of his leisure hours. 

Such were the two libraries separately bequeathed by 
the Duke's will, to which we have just referred. He left 
"to the community of Urbino his library of MSS. in that 
city, as well as all MSS. and drawings in that of Castel 
Durante, as soon as they can be transported thither ; and, 
in order that the said community may maintain a person 
to take charge thereof, he conveyed to them certain lands 
for his support ; expressly enjoining that the said library 

^ Such particulars of the wardrobe inventory as relate to objects of art are 
included in the last No. of the Appendix, 

III. — R 

242 MEMOIRS OF THE [1631 

shall never be removed from the place where it then was, 
nor be diminished by a single volume, under forfeiture of 
their right thereto, in favour of the company Confraternita 
della Grotta of Urbino." The library remained under 
charge of Vittorio Venturelli, a man of some literary note; 
but ere many years had elapsed, the destination by Fran- 
cesco Maria was defeated. In 1657, the community had 
formal notice from Alexander VII. of his wish to trans- 
port the collection to the Vatican, " for the increase of its 
splendour, and the benefit of Christendom." After some 
delay and hesitation, this proposal was reluctantly acceded 
to by the magistracy, who took the opportunity of stipu- 
lating certain favours and immunities for the public. The 
chief of these were a diminution of the contingent of 
interest payable by Urbino on the state debt ; exemption 
from certain imposts ; the establishment there of educa- 
tional institutions under charge of the Jesuits ; the removal 
thither from Urbania of the Minims, with the other 
library left to them by the late Duke ; an annual sum 
for repairs of the ducal palace ; the preservation of their 
library in the Vatican under its proper name, and the 
perpetual appointment of a native of their city among 
the librarians there ; lastly, a surrender to the community 
of the property bequeathed for the support of their 
librarian. The Pope's interference seems to have been 
suggested, or perhaps only excused, by a rumoured inten- 
tion of the community to sell the collection to some 
foreign prince. The MSS., numbering 1793 volumes, were 
finally sent to Rome in sixty-three cases ; and a tradition 
is still current in Urbino that they were removed secretly, 
and during night, to the bitter mortification of the inhabi- 
tants, who regarded this as the last relic of sovereignty 
and independence remaining to them, and who probably 
esteemed it more as a monument of better days than 
from a just appreciation of its real value. The MSS. were 
assuredly worth a far higher ransom than was obtained by 

i63i] DUKES OF URBINO 243 

the citizens, but there can be little doubt that their safety 
and utility were enhanced by the transfer. They were 
deposited in a section of the vast corrider at the Vatican, 
where an obscure lapidary inscription informs us that " in 
1658, Alexander VII. added to the Vatican collection the 
ancient MSS., of all sorts and in all languages, which 
formed the library of Urbino, thereby insuring their 
preservation and proper treatment, after compensating 
those who assigned over the boon."^ The printed books 
of this library, in number 233, were retained in Urbino.- 

It remains to trace the library at Castel Durante. In 
the archives of the Convent of Minims at S. Lorenzo in 
Lucina, at Rome, I discovered a copy of a settlement by 
Francesco Maria, dated 1628, in which he leaves the 
Minims of the Crucifixion, at Castel Durante, " all the 
library of printed books which may be in Castel Durante," 
with the room in which they are, and the shelving, etc. ; 
but under an obligation " that before taking possession 
thereof, they shall without delay send to the library of 
Urbino, at the expense of the heir, all such MSS. and 
books of designs as may be among them." There is also 
a special condition that, if these monks permit any part, 
however small, of the collection to be removed from thence 
or transported elsewhere, the bequest shall lapse to the 
Confraternita della Grotta, at Urbino ; and a small pro- 
vision is made for maintaining a librarian. The active 
interest taken by Urban VIII. in Castel Durante (now 
Urbania) did not overlook the benefit which such a public 
library was likely to afford to that town, and he provided 
for its perpetual security by proclaiming ecclesiastical 

^ Alexander VII. Pont. Max. 
Antiqua omnis generis omniumque linguarum 
Urbinatis bibliothecse manuscripta volumina 

Repenso cedentibus beneficio 
D. tutiorem custodiam atque proprietatem 
Vaticanse adjunxit an. sal. mdclviii. 
'■' Most of these particulars have been gleaned from the communal archives 
at Urbino, R. No. 30. 

244 MEMOIRS OF THE [1631 

censures against such as should dilapidate or carry it 

About twenty-seven years after the Duke's death, Alex- 
ander VII,, being at a loss how to furnish with books the 
library of his newly-erected university, the Sapienza, at 
Rome, bethought himself of the collection at Castel 
Durante ; and on the assumption of its very limited utility 
there, and of the excellent purpose to which it might be 
made subservient at the Sapienza, transported it thither. 
He had previously obtained a sort of forced consent on the 
part of the monks of the Crucifixion to this arrangement, 
by promising to the convent of their order at Rome the 
custody of the new library, and other favours : the opposi- 
tion of the Confraternita della Grotta he had also neutral- 
ised, by purchasing their reversionary interest in the 
bequest. The transaction was enveloped in great secrecy, 
in anticipation of opposition from the grand-ducal family, 
or from the citizens of Castel Durante ; indeed, when the 
removal of the books was begun, the latter manifested such 
indignation and discontent, that about five hundred 
volumes were allowed to remain for their use. Notwith- 
standing this concession, and their unwillingness to agree 
to the arrangement, the monks were for a long time greatly 
persecuted by the people ; their Provost fled in terror of 
his life, and nothing but dread of papal censures would 
have induced their compliance. Upon the pretext that per- 
sons bound to reside in a cloister, at some distance, could 
not be efficient guardians of the new library at Rome, even 
the promised boon was withheld from their brethren of 
S. Lorenzo, who received in compensation the lectureship 
of moral philosophy at the Sapienza, along with certain 
exemptions affecting the internal discipline of their order. 

The consulting catalogue of the Vatican Urbino MSS., 
now used by the librarians, was compiled in 1797 by 
Mauro Coster, and being alphabetical, does not show the 
number of MSS. ; but the numeration of articles exceeds 


4000. In it, at No. 1388, will be found another catalogue 
by Stefano Gradio, wherein the numeration of volumes, 
many of them containing several articles, amounts to 
1361 ; but in the general catalogue for reference, the 
volumes are only 1026. Under the regulations prohibiting 
indiscriminate access to the Vatican catalogues, I have 
not been able satisfactorily to reconcile these discrepan- 
cies, nor to pronounce upon the accuracy of any of these 
calculations ; they, however, afford sufficient data to esti- 
mate the extent of the Urbino MSS. Their value is prob- 
ably greater in reference to their number than that of any 
other component portion of the Vatican collection ; indeed, 
than any existing library except the Laurentian ; but this 
point, too, must remain unresolved, so long as the present 
restrictions are maintained.*^ 

As soon as the Duke's demise seemed to be certainly 
approaching. Urban had directed his nephew, Prince 
Taddeo Barberini, general-in-chief of the ecclesiastical 
troops, to occupy the frontier, who, on that event, marched 
through the state to receive its allegiance, and thus secured 
its unopposed Devolution to the Holy See, to the infinite 
satisfaction of the Pontiff. Another nephew. Cardinal 
Antonio Barberini, was soon after named Legate, under 
whom the ancient Dukedom passed at once into its new 
position as a province of the papal state. But after a few 
months he resigned the appointment, and it was bestowed 
upon his brother, Cardinal Francesco, who, preferring 
Rome as a residence, governed the province for many 
years by a vice-legate. The Pontiff, in proof of his paternal 
affection for his new subjects, conferred a Cardinal's hat on 
the Bishop of Gubbio, and established in that town a 
branch of the Inquisition ! 

•^ I am not able to state more accurately than Dennistoun the number of 
volumes from the Urbino collection now in the Vatican. Unhappily there is not 
a library in all Italy that possesses a catalogue fit to use. For the MSS. to-day ex- 
isting in the library of the University at Urbino, see Le Marche, An.iv., p. 212. 

246 MEMOIRS OF THE [1631 

The revenue drawn by the Camera from the state of 
Urbino, in the years immediately subsequent to the 
Devolution, fell considerably short of the expenses ; but 
after the imposts had been augmented, the income, in 
1648, exceeded 40,000 scudi, leaving a balance at the 
credit of the government. The population was then 
above two hundred thousand. The change from inde- 
pendent to provincial rank had already become painfully 
manifest. The vaunted fidelity of the natives was de- 
generated into servility of demeanour. Everywhere their 
eyes rested on some symptom of departed grandeur. 
The palaces of their dukes were falling into neglect, 
crumbling and grass-grown ; the gardens, overrun by 
rank weeds, sadly recalled days of past festivity ; the 
degraded castles testified to an impoverished and absentee 
nobility. The glories of Urbino were gone.^ 

But the cup was charged with a bitterness beyond these 
humiliations. Surrounded by ecclesiastical provinces, the 
inhabitants of the duchy had long a foretaste of their 
coming fate, which amply accounted for the exultation 
with which they had hailed the promised continuance of 
the ducal line, and their sullen despair on witnessing its 
inevitable extinction. The Venetian Relazioni, quoted 
by Ranke, supply us with the opinion of disinterested 
contemporaries as to the condition of the papal state 
during the seventeenth century. In 1600, its " nobles and 
people would gladly cast themselves upon any sovereign 
whatever, to escape from the hands into which they had 
fallen." Ten years later, the very blood of the inhabitants 
was wrung from them by excessive taxation, and their 
enterprise was crushed by commercial restrictions. " The 
foreign traders had quitted Ancona, the native merchants 
were bankrupt, the gentry impoverished, the artizans 
ruined, the populace dispersing." A year or two after 

1 Maruccelli MSS. C. No. 30S. See App. No. VIII. for statistical 
notices of this period. 

i623l DUKES OF URBINO 247 

the last Duke's death, his people are described as grum- 
bling much at the change, calling the new government a 
tyranny, and sneering at the priests as interested solely in 
accumulating wealth, and aggrandising themselves. In 
1666, we have this calamitous but probably overcoloured 
picture : — " It is palpably evident that the ecclesiastical 
realm is quite overburdened, so that many landholders, 
unable to extract enough from their possessions to meet 
the extraordinary public imposts, resort of necessity to 
the abandonment of their estates, in order to seek fortune 
and sustenance in less rapacious communities. I speak 
not of duties and customs, from which nothing eatable is 
excepted ; because the taxes, donatives, subsidies, and 
other extraordinary extortions would excite pity and 
astonishment, even if the terrible commissioners sent 
from Rome into these cities, with absolute authority to 
inquire, sell, carry off, and confiscate, did not exceed all 
belief; no month ever passing without a flight of griffins 
and harpies, in the guise of commissioners, either of the 
fabric of St. Peter's, or of pious bequests, or of movable 
goods, or of archives, or of some five-and-twenty other 
Roman courts, by all which the already drained purses of 
the helpless subjects are tortured to the last degree. And 
thus, — setting aside Ferrara and Bologna, to which some 
consideration is extended, and which are favoured by 
nature and art with excellent soil, and with manufacturing 
industry, — all other cities of Romagna, La Marca, Umbria, 
the Patrimony, Sabina, and the Campagna are utterly 
wretched ; and, to the disgrace of the Roman govern- 
ment, in none of them do woollen or silk factories exist, 
nor even of gold stuffs, except in a few such little towns 
as Fossombrone, Pergola, Matelica, Camerino, and Norcia, 
although the abundance of wool and silk might afford a 
most advantageous trade. The ecclesiastical territory is 
merely an estate leased out to tenants, who give no 
thought to its improvement, but only to extract the 

248 MEMOIRS OF THE [1631 

greatest possible amount of its produce from the unhappy 
land, whose scourged and arid soil will be unable to yield 
more than very barren crops to succeeding occupants. . . . 
The more hateful and abhorred they find themselves, the 
more merciless do they become ; and dragging their hats 
over their brows, they look no one in the face. They glean 
all sorts of corn into their sheaves, intent wholly upon 
their own interests, without the smallest regard to the 
public." By the end of the century, matters had become 
worse, the country being " depopulated and uncultivated, 
ruined by extortions, and destitute of industry." The 
duchy of Urbino, which, according to the preceding ex- 
tract, was the last refuge of the silk trade, had then fallen 
into deep decay, and the corn commerce of La Marca was 
clogged by export dues and injudicious restrictions.^ 

These plaintive notes might still [1859] find not a few 
echoes along the papal coasts of the Adriatic — the focus 
of Italian discontent, — over-taxation to maintain a distant 
government being ever the burden of their song. But the 
question is not, in truth, one of financial administration. 
However open to stricture the fiscal details may be, when 
tested by sound principles, the amount of revenue raised 
is moderate in consideration of the wealth there lavished 
by beneficent nature, in a degree denied to other not less 
burdened districts of the Peninsula. Nor can the papal 
sway, however objectionable, be in fairness regarded as 
otherwise than mild. But centralisation is necessarily 
alien to the spirit of a people long broken up into mini- 
ature communities, as it was formerly uncongenial to 

^ The state of feeling in the duchy, even under the comparatively bene- 
ficent sway of its native pope, Clement XL, may be inferred from an incident 
of trifling moment. Having obtained trace of a petition or remonstrance 
addressed to that Pontiff among the MSS. of the Bibliotheca Borbonica at 
Naples, I was refused a sight of it by the Archbishop then at the head of that 
library, on the ground of its injurious allegations against the authorities. 
Verily such overcaution may defeat its own end, by leaving an exaggerated 
impression of the mischief it would veil. So Gergorovius was turned out of 
the Vatican Library. 

FrojH the picture by Sustennajts in the Pitii Galleiy, Florence 

i63i] DUKES OF URBINO 249 

their ancestors, whose personal pride, political influence, 
and hopes of promotion, equally turned upon the con- 
tinuance of a sectional independence. Hence the popular 
dissatisfaction rests as much upon traditional evils as 
upon existing and obvious misgovernment. Four cen- 
turies ago there were above a dozen capitals, flourishing 
in the balmy atmosphere of as many gay courts, and 
basking in patronage and prosperity, all within the circuit 
of that province where now a few priestly legates perform 
the functions of sovereignty without either the taste or the 
means for indulging its trappings, and dwell in princely 
palaces without the habits or the popularity of their 
ancient lords. 

But these are not matters for casual discussion. From 
the accession of Count Guidantonio in 1404, till the 
Devolution by Duke Francesco Maria in 1624, this little 
state had enjoyed two hundred and twenty years of 
a prosperity unknown to the neighbouring communities. 
Her sovereigns were distinguished in arts and arms, 
respected abroad, esteemed at home ; her frontiers were 
comparatively exempt from invasion, her tranquillity 
unruffled by domestic broils : within her narrow limits 
were reared or sheltered many of the brightest names in 
literature, science, and art ; her court was the mirror of 
refinement, her capital the Athens of Italy. Since the 
Devolution, she has passed an equal number of lustres in 
provincial obscurity and neglect. It has been the object 
of this work to portray somewhat of the splendours of 
that former period, though the subject would require 
colours more brilliant, and a hand more skilled. Here our 
task must close, for to follow her destinies to their decline 
and fall were one of few attractions. 

" Kingdoms are shrunk to provinces, and chains 
Clank over sceptred cities, nations melt 
From power's high pinnacle, when they have felt 
The sunshine for a while, and downward go ! " 




Italian literature subject to new influences — The academies — Federigo 
Comandino — Guidobaldo del Monte — The Paciotti — Leonardi — Muzio 
Oddi — Bernardino Baldi — Girolamo Muzio — Federigo Bonaventura. 

FOR a long lapse of years, Italy had been an 
organised body of highly civilised states, 
different in their origin, laws, and constitu- 
tions, divided by local jealousies and opposite 
interests, constantly engaged in their endeavours to estab- 
lish a political equilibrium by the manoeuvres of a wary 
and even unprincipled diplomacy, baffled oftentimes in 
their ambitious schemes, and brought into sudden colli- 
sion, but still deriving new energies from their very 
rivalry, and promoting, with their own, the interests of 
social progress."^ 

It was in a state of things thus happily described that 
letters and art attained their zenith of glory in the Penin- 
sula. But the close of the fifteenth century had introduced 
elements of change, which a fatal policy permitted to 
spread. Those foreign aggressions and domestic convul- 
sions which we have seen extirpating nationality and 
crushing independence were not less destructive to mind 
and its efforts. A struggle of thirty-five years against her 
ultramontane invaders, — a series of unavailing because ill- 
directed and discordant efforts, — closed with the coronation 
of Charles V., and left Italy for nearly two centuries at the 
mercy of Spain. The states which escaped the direct 
miseries of that iron domination, and retained a nominal 

^ Mariotti's Italy, II., p. 177. 


independence under the papal sway or their native dynas- 
ties, sank unresisting before an influence affecting at once 
their politics, their manners, and their literature. The 
pride of the Spaniard had long been proverbial, and was 
little susceptible of modification even in a new country. 
The conquered race quickly conformed to fashions which 
they could neither shake off nor exclude. They aped a 
pompous bearing that sat with singularly bad grace upon 
a vanquished people, and the affectation which at first 
loaded their language with fulsome epithets, soon cor- 
rupted their writings by elaborate adulation. It is difficult 
for those whose taste has been formed upon the models of 
a less copious language to judge fairly of Italian orna- 
mental literature, for its authors, in availing themselves of 
the resources at their command, are prone to lavish them 
too unsparingly. When tried by such a standard their 
prose may seem tedious or tumid verbiage, their epics 
may teem with overstrained hyperbole, and even their 
lighter poetry may appear to substitute subtle conceits 
and elaborate epithets for graceful ease and flexibility. 
But these idiomatic peculiarities are but echoes of the 
national genius, and ought not perhaps in fairness to be 
subjected to canons of criticism unknown to their authors. 
Yet it cannot be denied that facilities such as the language 
of Italy affords to flowery composition are virtually 
premiums on feebleness, and that decorations of style 
afford a tempting disguise for indolence of mind or 
poverty of matter. The influence of petty courts was 
peculiarly and fatally favourable to such qualities. Trifling 
incidents there assumed an importance that justified 
magniloquence befitting loftier themes, whilst the narrow 
views common to limited circles found ample scope in 
exaggerated phrases of metaphor and hyperbole. Thus 
came abundance without fertility, exuberance yielding 
only redundancy. 

Associations and clubs for political or social objects 


being then incompatible equally with the spirit of govern- 
ments and the habits of the people, men readily formed 
themselves into religious confraternities or literary aca- 
demies. But these academies acted as drags upon the 
progress of that literature which they were instituted to 
promote ; they clogged its chariot wheels with devices 
originally dictated by pedantry, and soon degenerating 
into puerile verbiage. From the draughts of inflated 
poetry and corrupted rhetoric which they manufactured, 
every stimulating ingredient was gradually withdrawn, 
while opiates were freely introduced in their stead. They 
thus lulled to sleep what little public spirit had survived 
the subjugation of the Peninsula ; and the governments 
of the new regime, quickly aware of their emasculating 
tendencies, lavished upon them patronage until they 
deluged the land, and stifled the energies of the national 
mind in all-prevailing mediocrity. The classic spirit of 
the fifteenth century had originated this mischief, by divert- 
ing letters from the sphere of popular sympathy, and 
nourishing that affectation to which an almost exclusive 
study of the dead languages must ever lead. But the evil 
was aggravated by Spanish influence. Ingrafting frigid 
forms and stately phrases upon the lively intercourse of a 
naturally light-hearted people, it did for the manners what 
pedantry had effected for the letters of Italy. Nature and 
originality were replaced by imitation and servility. Paro- 
dies suppressed inspiration, compliments chilled cordiality. 
In both cases genius languished, epithets multiplied, and 
terse and vigorous diction passed with independence to 
happier lands. 

In all histories of Italian literature the academies oc- 
cupy a conspicuous place, and we have already noticed 
the Assorditi of Urbino, for whom municipal vanity has 
asserted an origin in the reign of Duke Federigo.^ They 
appear to have occasionally met as early at least as that 

^ See vol. II., p. 112. 


of his successor, although not formally constituted until 
about 1520. Their name, like that of most similar asso- 
ciations, being probably adopted from some foolish whim, 
the next step was to invent a badge suited to the humour 
of the times, so they assumed " the ship of Ulysses sur- 
rounded by sirens"; and for motto, playing at once on 
sound and sense Canitur surdis, " They sing to the deaf." 
The word assorditi properly means " the deafened," but its 
signification might be stretched by punning to include 
absurdity, niggardness, or filth, none of them very flat- 
tering qualities to connect with the epithet. The rolls of 
this fantastic association included many authors who were 
harboured at Urbino, but it is in no way identified with 
their reputation. Having fallen into neglect, it was re- 
vived in 1623, and, after nearly a century of provincialism, 
was once more reconstituted in 1723. 

As these literary associations rose, their predecessors, 
the scholastic academies, declined. That which Lorenzo 
the Magnificent had founded at his villa of Carreggi, was 
closed in 1522, and Platonism having consequently waned, 
the Stagirite philosophy was once more master of the field. 
But another and more deadly struggle awaited it. When 
men began to study nature and base their reasonings 
upon her laws, the deficiencies of their old guide were 
detected, and its authority was impugned. Yet the peri- 
patetic system was too deeply founded to be at once dis- 
missed, and the ingenuity of its disciples was long directed 
to accommodate its dogmas to modern discoveries, — a 
vain effort which only divided their ranks and led them 
into inextricable dilemmas, until Galileo appeared " to 
furnish forth creation," and conduct them clear of the 
labyrinth by a silver thread of truth. But though a new 
light had dawned, new snares beset the way. From bold 
investigation and speculative inquiry, ecclesiastical author- 
ity and civil despotism had much to lose, nothing to gain. 
Their side was therefore soon chosen. War was declared 



against thought, backed by the whole armoury of oppres- 
sion. Where prevention failed, persecution followed, and 
the censor's veto was enforced by rack and faggot. 

Thus was it that the Reformation had but an indirect 
influence on the Italian mind. The scanty seeds wafted 
across the Alps fell upon stony ground, and ere long 
withered away. But the great reaction of the papacy 
was not only directed against the new truths ; it waged 
war upon every thing calculated to afford them a disguise 
under which they might become dangerous. The policy 
of pontiffs and the duty of the Inquisition tended to 
exclude all light, lest any rays of Protestantism should 
reach the faithful During three centuries have these 
efforts been continued ; and when we consider the talent 
by which they have been directed, the stern ministers by 
whom they have been carried out, we well may wonder 
that the Italian mind has not been utterly debased by 
foreign tyranny and priestly domination. They have 
sown the wind ; it remains to reap the whirlwind. 

The fashion for classic imitation was succeeded in Italy 
by an age of rhetoricians, with Bembo at their head, and 
the academies as their strongholds. But they either 
encouraged or inadequately repressed a too fluent facility 
which has ever since been the blemish of their melli- 
fluous language. In Boccalini's satirical Ragguaglio di 
Parnasso, some prolix writer is condemned to a perusal of 
Guicciardini's narrative of the Pisan war ; but, after a 
brief essay, he avows his preference for the galleys to 
pursuing, through dreary details, the siege and capture of 
a pigeon-house. This biting jest is applicable in a far 
greater degree to other writers of the sixteenth century, 
whose cumbrous grandiloquence is often diluted by trivi- 
alities, or tinselled with factitious pomp. Yet there were 
some authors of purer taste, who resisted such extrava- 
gance, and it is curious to find Caro, della Casa, and 
Bernardo Tasso concerting measures for curtailing the use 
III. — s 


of superabundant compliments. The two principal points 
of their attack were the recent substitution of the feminine 
pronoun in the third person singular for the second person 
plural in addressing any one, and the indiscriminate use 
of Lordship, Excellency, Gentility, as courteous phrases, 
to the entire exclusion of Master and Madam. Against 
the former of these abuses Caro and Tasso declare open 
war ; but, although they unite in condemnation of the 
latter as still more fatal to vernacular purity, and avow 
themselves ready to support any onset, each shrinks from 
leading the charge. " This age of ours is altogether given 
up to adulation. Every one, in inditing a letter, bandies 
' lordship ' ; all expect it when addressed. And not, for- 
sooth, our grandees alone, but even the middle classes and 
the very plebeians aspire to such distinctions, taking affront 
if they receive them not, and noting as blunderers all who 
do not offer them the like. Most silly and revolting does 
it seem to me that we should have to speak to one person 
as if he were another, always talking to a sort of ideal 
abstraction, quite different from the individual himself 
Yet this abuse is now established and general." Thus far 
Caro, to whom Tasso replies, " Oh the wonderful charm of 
Italy, which every one seeks to destroy ! It sufficed not 
that the Goths, the Vandals, and other strange and 
barbarous nations have sought, and still seek, to possess 
thee, and that multitudes flock hither from earth's farthest 
corners ; even Lordships, never previously seen or known 
here, quitting their native Spain, are come in swarms to 
sojourn among us, and have so mastered our vanity and 
ambition that we cannot shake them from our shoulders." 
In a subsequent letter to Claudio Tolomei, Bernardo con- 
gratulates him on having applied the lash to such empty 
titles, and promises to follow his example by retrenching 
them all when he revises his own letters for the press.^ 
But these attempts met with little success ; redundant 

^ Lettere di Bernardo Tasso, edit. 1733 ; vol. I., pp. 14-22 and 427-30. 


superlatives still lead Italian literature, and an Italian 
letter is little more than a tissue of exaggerated epithets, 
from its address to its signature.^ 

Few branches of human knowledge more flourished 
during the palmy days of Italian literature than the exact 
sciences, especially in connection with military affairs, and 
the elegant arts. Their application to both objects was 
received with marked favour by the successive Dukes of 
Urbino, who, for a century and a half, combined the 
pursuit of arms with the patronage of art. We have seen 
this done by Federigo and Guidobaldo I., for the defence 
of their duchy and the decoration of their capital ; we now 
have to mention the progress of similar studies under the 
della Rovere princes. During the latter epoch, pure 
mathematics were brought into fashion by numerous 
translations of standard Greek works into Latin or Italian, 
a labour shared by various literati of Urbino, but especially 
by Comandino, Baldi, and Alessandro Giorgi. This, how- 
ever, but served to facilitate their practical development in 
pursuits more congenial to those martial dispositions for 
which the inhabitants of Romagna have in all ages been 
noted. Whilst the revived literature of Greece and the 
philosophy of Plato flourished on the banks of the Arno, 
the exact sciences were cultivated in the highlands of 
Umbria, and took the practical turn of strengthening those 
fastnesses with which nature had provided that mountain- 
land. Francesco di Giorgio, of Siena, was less in request by 
Dukes Federigo and Guidobaldo as architect of their 
stately palaces, than as the most famous military engineer 
of his time. Events which made their duchy the seat of 
repeated invasions early in the sixteenth century, as well 
as the warlike character of Francesco Maria I., maintained 
a demand for fortifications, and, from the school which 

^ In proof of this I give in IX. of the Appendix a letter of introduction, of 
which I was bearer, from one of the most accomplished professors of Rome. 


thus grew up in his capital, there issued a series of mili- 
tary architects whose fame and services extended beyond 
the Alps. 

The first of these whom we shall mention was Federigo 
COMANDINO, born at Urbino, in 1509, of a noble family. 
His grandfather was secretary of Duke Federigo, whose 
last confidential instructions he received, when death sur- 
prised that veteran general in the fens of Ferrara. Baldi 
has claimed the invention of those bulwarks in fortification 
called baluardi for his father, Gian Battista,^ who built the 
walls at Urbino in the beginning of the sixteenth century. 
After a liberal education, Federigo passed several years at 
the court of Clement VH., nominally as a privy chamber- 
lain, but really to amuse with learned disquisitions the 
Pontiff's leisure hours, on whose death he repaired to 
Padua, where he devoted ten years to the study of 
philosophy and medicine. Having graduated, he settled 
for clinical practice at Ferrara, but seems soon to have 
abandoned the healing art for mathematical research. He 
accompanied his sovereign, Guidobaldo H., to the camp at 
Verona when in the Venetian service, and, having gained 
his confidence by successfully treating him in a severe 
illness, he was selected to instruct him in astronomy and 
cosmography, as well as in military tactics and engineering. 
Soon, however, resuming his more abstruse studies, under 
the patronage of Cardinal Ranuccio Farnese, brother of 
Duchess Vittoria, he was carried by him to Rome, and 
introduced into the society of Annibale Caro, Fulvio Orsini, 
Baldassare Turrio, and Cardinal Cervini, the last of whom 
was cut off too quickly after his election as Marcellus H. 
to be able to benefit his friends. But for Comandino 
ambition offered few temptations, and courts had no charm. 
In studious retirement he devoted to the exact sciences the 

^ This has also been imputed to Francesco di Giorgio, to Sanmichele, and 
to Bartolomeo Centogatti of Urbino. 


matured powers of a comprehensive and most retentive 
mind. He explored all that classical authors were known 
to have left on these subjects, and rendered again access- 
ible much that lay forgotten among the rubbish of by-gone 
learning. He translated, and copiously edited, Ptolemy's 
treatise on the planisphere, which was published at Venice, 
in 1558, and, four years afterwards, gave to the world a 
work on the analemma, founded upon the same author's 
previous and imperfect discoveries. His labours were then 
transferred to the writings of Archimedes, several of which 
he printed for the first time, as well as the dissertations of 
Serenus and Apollonius upon conic sections, all with 
elaborate commentaries. 

After spending the prime of life in these pursuits 
at Rome, he returned to his native duchy, where his 
instructions in mathematics were sought by Prince 
Francesco Maria, with whom he read and expounded 
Euclid's Elements; and afterwards, at the request of his 
pupil, published a Latin translation of them. It was 
about 1569 that he was visited there by a young English- 
man named John Dea, whose love of the exact sciences 
induced him to seek so distinguished a professor, and 
who supplied him with some Arabic MSS., hitherto 
unknown.^ Six years thereafter he was surprised by 
death, with many unfinished works on his hands, part 
whereof saw the light under the superintendence of the 
Marquis Guidobaldo del Monte. The life of a hard 
student is rarely one of varied incident ; and even the 
voluble pen of his pupil Baldi has failed to illustrate that of 
Comandino with interest, beyond his scholiast labours.^ 
Yet severity formed no part of his social character, and he 
was ready at all times to relax his toils by Epicurean 
indulgences, which are said eventually to have curtailed 
his life. To the last, however, his engrossing pleasure was 

^ Grossi, Uotnini Illustri di Urbino. 
It is printed in the Raccolta Calogeriana, XIX., 140. 


in books ; and, although his works number more trans- 
lations than original compositions, he is ranked by 
Montucla among the most able and judicious of com- 

One of the pupils whom Comandino left in his native 
state was GuiDOBALDO, Marquis del Monte, who was 
born of distinguished lineage, in 1544. Tiraboschi has 
cited, as a singular proof of the engrossing nature of his 
studies, the fact that his life offers a nearly total want of 
incident. So tranquilly did his days flow on at his castle 
of Monte Baroccio, amid abstruse occupations, that he 
seemed to have forgotten a world unconscious of his very 
existence, and the only memorials of his life are his works. 
His treatise upon Perspective successfully carried forward 
what had been indicated by Pietro della Francesca in the 
preceding century, and he was afterwards engaged upon 
the doctrine of Planispheres, the correction of the kal- 
endar, and the solution of astronomical problems. But 
though thus devoted to abstruse science, he spared a 
portion of his thoughts for its practical branches, working 
upon mechanics, and translating from Archimedes. It is 
unnecessary here to go into an examination of results 
which modern discoveries have left far behind ; the ground 
has been well sifted by Montucla, whose work indicates 
whatever is still of value in this class of now somewhat 
superseded labours. The Marquis was addressed by 
Torquato Tasso in a sonnet beginning Miserator de gran 
celesti campi, and died early in the seventeenth century, 
survived by a younger brother, Francesco Maria, who had 
been made cardinal by Sixtus V. 

Among the names distinguished in Urbino for mathe- 
matical talent, that of Paciotti was conspicuous. Jacopo 
Paciotti, who held several situations of trust under the two 
first Dukes of the Rovere dynasty, was father of three 


sons, all eminent proficients in the exact sciences. Felice 
was one of those commissioned to rectify the Gregorian 
Kalendar, and invented an instrument for constructing 
dial-plates. Orazio became a military engineer, and 
erected fortresses for the States of the Church, for Savoy, 
and for Lucca, with such reputation that his services were 
sought for Poland and for the Emperor Rudolph. But 
the most remarkable of the family was Francesco,*^ who, 
after enjoying a liberal education, and thoroughly ground- 
ing himself in architecture under Girolamo Genga, went to 
Rome, where, in 1 550,*- he was named engineer-in-chief by 
Julius III. Next year, he was employed to fortify Ancona 
against the dreaded descents of the Turk ; but, leaving 
this undertaking to be completed by Fontana, he passed 
in 1 55 1, to the service of the Farnesi, and thence to that of 
Emanuel Duke of Savoy, with 60 scudi of monthly pay. 
He soon afterwards published a plan of Rome ; but his 
attention was chiefly devoted to military architecture, in 
which his reputation rapidly spread. In 1558, he was 
employed by Philip II. to survey, and report upon, the 
principal defences of the Low Countries, for which he was 
remunerated with 6000 scudi, and a massive gold chain. 

Paciotti was now on the ladder of royal favour, and, 
having accompanied Duke Emanuel to Paris, for his 
marriage, was decorated by Henry II. with another mag- 
nificent chain worth 1000 scudi. The gorgeous compli- 
ment, however, nearly cost him his life, for, while wearing 
it next day, he was set upon by two robbers, one of whom 
he slew, and wounded the other, a feat which procured him 
new marks of favour. The next ten years of his life were 
chiefly spent in the service of Savoy ; but he was at 
various times summoned for engineering purposes to 

*^ Cf. Madiai, // Giornale di Francesco Paciotti da Urbino in Arch. St. 
per le Marche e per V Umbria, vol. III., p. 48 et scq. 

*- This is the year in which the journal begins. In 1551 he tells us he 
left the service of the Pope to enter that of the Duke of Parma, 


Spain and Flanders. The warm personal regard in which 
he was held by Philip II. was proved by his winning a bet, 
that he would make that proud monarch hold a light to 
examine his plans, and was more substantially shown by 
many rich presents which he carried from that court. 
In consequence of recommendations from his Catholic 
Majesty, he had from the King of Portugal the order of 
Jesus Christ ; and in 1578, at the Duke of Savoy's request, 
the Castle of Montefabri was erected into a countship in 
his favour, by Francesco Maria II. of Urbino. After for 
several years superintending fortifications in the papal 
states, and those of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, he retired 
to his native place, and passed the remainder of his life in 
honourable ease, enjoying from various sovereigns pensions 
of above 3000 scudi a year. He died in 1591, aged 
seventy, leaving behind him a European reputation, and 
three sons, in whom the mathematical talents of the family 
were hereditarily developed, all being military engineers of 
some note ; one of them, Federigo, became a Knight of 
Malta, and Guidobaldo was blown up by a mine, while in 
the service of Charles V. 

GlAN GlACOMO Leonardi is mentioned by a recent 
writer^ as " one of those extraordinary men, so abundant 
in Italy during the fifteenth and following century, who 
have left little fame to posterity, and who, though uni- 
versally known in their day, were after death forgotten, and 
overlooked by subsequent writers." Nor is this surprising 
in his case ; for his distinction, gained in the camp, was 
spread still wider by his diplomacy. He was at one 
moment referred to on delicate points of honour between 
knights and sovereigns ; at another consulted on questions 
of legal intricacy ; whilst his writings have remained 
unedited and unknown. They are all upon fortification 

^ Trattato di Architettiira da Francesco di Giorgioy isdited by C. Promis, 
Turin, 1841. 


and engineering, and are enumerated by Promis in his 
elaborate compilation upon these subjects. His services, 
though eagerly sought by great monarchs, were affection- 
ately devoted to his native princes, being long companion 
in arms of Francesco Maria I., and ambassador to Venice 
from Guidobaldo II. He was born at Pesaro, near which 
he had from the latter the countship of Monte 1' Abbate 
in 1540, with permission to bear the name and arms of 
della Rovere, and died about 1560. 

Although we have been led to mention engineers in 
connection with mathematical science, they were in these 
days usually architects, and regarded as belonging to the 
class of artists. Ricotti informs us that no vocation was more 
varied or laborious. Uniting the practice of arms with an 
intimate knowledge of design, their services were sought 
for in every part of Europe, either to plan fortresses, build 
palaces, cast statues, paint frescoes, execute hydraulics, or 
command troops. Lazzari, in his Uomini Illustri del 
Piceno, enumerates sixteen such as conferring lustre upon 
Urbino, but of these we shall only name one more. 
Muzio Oddi was nobly born there, in 1569. In 1595, he 
accompanied, as military engineer, a contingent sent by 
the Duke into Burgundy ; and, three years after, employed 
his architectural skill for the festive decorations in honour 
of a visit by Clement VIII. to his native city. He had 
less success in placing a cupola upon the cathedral there, 
in 1604, which was said to contain 100,000 pounds of iron- 
work and 80,000 of lead, the weight of which brought it 
down in 1789. On some indistinctly recorded charge, he 
was thrown into the citadel of Pesaro, and there detained 
many years in a loathsome dungeon. Denied the use of 
books or writing materials, he made for himself ink of 
charcoal and candle-soot, mixed with water in a walnut- 
shell, and, by pasting together shreds of paper with bread- 
dough, contrived to jot down mathematical treatises on 


sundials and the square, using for compasses a couple of 
twigs tied together. On his liberation, in 1609, he passed 
into Lombardy, and spent above twenty years of exile in 
sighing for his country; nor was it till within two years 
of the close of life that he was appointed mathematical 
professor at Urbino, He died at seventy, leaving a 
Treatise on Mathematics, in two volumes 4to. 

Bernardino Baldi*^ has a double claim upon our 
attention, as the most prolific writer whom the duchy has 
produced, and as one who devoted a large share of his 
literary labours to the illustration of his native state. He 
was born at Urbino in 1553, of a family which, during 
several generations, had held with credit various important 
situations in the magistracy. By force of that extra- 
ordinary diligence, which continued to stimulate his entire 
life, his youthful studies advanced with precocious success; 
yet it is singular to find him confessing that his early in- 
clinations were all towards painting, and that his preference 
of his pencil to his grammatical exercises often brought 
him into intimate acquaintance with the birch. We can- 
not echo the observation of his biographer Afifo,*^ that this 
discipline may have deprived Urbino of a second Raffaele; 
but though he assuredly was gifted neither with the lofty 
genius nor the pervading sense of beauty which character- 
ised his countryman, a deep devotional feeling would 
doubtless have inspired his paintings. The peculiar con- 
nection which existed at Urbino between the exact 
sciences and the liberal arts frequently attracts our notice; 
and this it may have been which led the thwarted painter 
to turn with his accustomed energy to mathematical 
studies, under Federigo Comandino, for whose edition of 

*^ Cf. Zaccagnini, La vita e h opere edite e inedite di B.B. (MoJena, 
1903); Ugolini, Versi e prose scelte di B.B. (Firenze, 1859); see also 
Madiai, Pierantonio Pallroni e B.B. biograji di Federigo da Montefeltro in 
Le Marche (1902), vol. II., pp. 5-6. 

*^ Cf. Affo, La Vitadi B. B, (Parma, 1783). 


Euclid, published in 1572, he is said to have drawn the 
diagrams. It was about this time, that, urged by his 
parents to choose between law and medicine for a pro- 
fession, he preferred the latter, rather, as he tells us, from 
its analogy with philosophical inquiries than with any 
special liking for the healing art. With these views he 
was sent to the University of Padua, where he brought 
his vast application successively to bear upon logic, and 
ethical and physical philosophy, varied by his favourite 
mathematics, and by a comprehensive cycle of Greek 
literature. To that seat of learning there then resorted 
the youth of ultramontane lands, whose harsh language 
so piqued Baldi's curiosity, and developed his prodigious 
philological talents, that in an inconceivably short time he 
mastered French and German. But these multifarious 
pursuits did not suffice his versatile mind, so he enlivened 
them by draughts of the Castalian spring. There may 
seem something ludicrous in an epic, entitled " Artillery," 
and illustrative of gunnery practice ; but a theme so pon- 
derous for poetry was suited to the spirit of the age, as 
well as congenial to its author's thoughts. A visit to the 
mountain home of Petrarch, at Arqua, gave, however, a 
lighter turn to his muse, and taught his number to flow 
in madrigals, to the honour of some nameless Laura of 
his love or fancy, containing more borrowed classicism 
than inspired passion. 

In 1575 he returned home, to share the last labours, 
and watch the death-bed, of his friend Comandino, and 
to encounter from his parents many a remonstrance as to 
his neglected professional acquirements, of which, in the 
various food with which he had appeased his literary 
craving at the university, he seems entirely to have lost 
sight. But their efforts were vain. The Eugubinean 
tables, that philological enigma, having attracted his 
attention, he boldly encountered their solution, and studied 
Arabic as a stepping-stone to the lost dialects of Central 


Italy. His biographers insert Etruscan in the catalogue 
of his polyglot acquirements, but the tables of Gubbio 
remain a puzzle to antiquaries. Those who made litera- 
ture a profession, before there existed a " public " to 
remunerate their exertions, looked for maintenance to 
princes or private patrons; and in 1580 Baldi gratefully 
accepted the offer of Don Ferrante Gonzaga, Lord of 
Guastalla, to instruct him in mathematics, on an allow- 
ance of ten scudi a month, besides board for himself and 
a servant, — an appointment which made him favourably 
known to Cardinal (afterwards St.) Carlo Borromeo, uncle 
of that prince, and to many persons of literary reputation 
who frequented his miniature court. There his time was 
divided between mathematical and poetic compositions, 
until, in 1586, a sudden change took place in his position 
by his adopting a clerical habit, at the request of Don 
Ferrante, in order that he might hold the Abbacy of 
Guastalla, the emoluments of which yielded him about 
320 golden ducats. This promotion brought out a curious 
feature in the character of so hard a student, and we 
find him immediately repairing to Rome, to canvass for 
the higher honours of a titular bishopric, on being refused 
which, he struggled for permission to wear some trifling 
distinction in his canonical robes with pertinacity be- 
fitting a worldling rather than a philosopher. Neither 
was it from such a character that we should have looked 
for a zeal in the maintenance of ecclesiastical discipline, 
which led him beyond the bounds of prudence in wielding 
his inquisitorial powers.*^ 

Those theological studies which usually precede ordina- 
tion were in his case followed out with his wonted energy, 
after obtaining the preferment to which they are generally 
intended to lead, and it was probably then that he added 

*^ In Rome he pursued too his artistic studies ; it was this sojourn which 
inspired the Sonetli Fo?)iaiii. He seems to have passed the years 1 592-1609 
bptween Rome, Urbino, and Guastalla. 


Hebrew and Chaldee to his accomplishments. But his 
first great undertaking, after thus gaining a position of 
leisure and independence, was a General Biography of 
famous mathematicians. This he never completed for 
the press ; but a sort of vidimus of the three hundred and 
sixty lives, which it was intended to contain, was printed 
after his death, with the title Cronica de' Mathematici, 
Several minor works in science and literature at the same 
time occupied his pen, among which were his Description 
of the Urbino palace, his Eulogy of that state, and his 
History of Guastalla. Nor were his poetic inspirations 
neglected, and, besides a variety of occasional effusions, 
his Nautica, or the Art of Navigation, was printed at 
Venice in 1590. We may include among his lighter 
labours an Essay on History, dedicated in 161 1 to the 
Duke of Urbino, and lately published by Cardinal Mai.^ 
Although, like most similar essays, some of its observa- 
tions are trite and even trivial, the various topics are well 
handled, and many useful suggestions are offered as to the 
best method and style for history, the qualities requisite in its 
author and desirable for its students. It would have been 
well had Baldi attended, in his historical biographies, to 
his own recommendation, that the prolix and copious 
diction of Livy should be chastened by that terse and 
sententious manner found in Tacitus and Sallust. Nor 
were it amiss that he had construed less literally the 
maxim by which Pliny the Younger pleads for mediocrity, 
Content yourself to do much indifferently, if it be beyond 
you to do a little well.^ 

Although Baldi appears to have entered the Church rather 
from temporal considerations than any spiritual vocation, 
no priest was ever more tenacious of rights and privileges ; 
and it was his misfortune to find, in the exercise of his 

^ Spicilegium Ronianum, I., xxviii., from Vat. Urb. MSS. 
^ Satius est plurima mediocriter facere, si non possis aliquid insigniter. 
Lib. v., Epist. 5. 


ecclesiastical functions, ever-recurring misunderstandings 
with his clergy or the civil authorities, and even with the 
superior tribunals at Rome. Through these we shall not 
follow him. As early as 1590, the Duke of Urbino inter- 
fered as a friendly counsellor to recommend him moderate 
measures ; but new jars from time to time recurred, and in 
1609 he carried into effect a step which he had proposed 
seventeen years before, by resigning his benefice, under 
reservation of two-fifths of its income. But these wrang- 
lings penetrated not within the portal of his study, where 
his active mind and adamantine pen laboured assiduously, 
through good report and bad, upon the most incongruous 

The Abbot renounced his preferment on the plea of 
family matters, requiring his presence in his native city, 
and, faithful to this domestic duty, declined an offer from 
Cardinal d'Este of a situation in his household. His own 
sovereign received him with that friendship he ever ex- 
tended to men of piety and literary merit, and, in 161 2, 
sent him on a mission to congratulate the New Doge of 
Venice.*^ The remainder of his life passed in peace, amid 
the varied resources of an ever-busy mind, interrupted only 
by those occasional bereavements, whereby, as years wear 
on, death warns us that our turn will also come. Besides 
sad breaches in his domestic circle, Baldi had to mourn his 
long-attached friend Baroccio, the painter, who died in 
161 2. Prepared by such proofs of human frailty, he re- 
signed his spirit on the loth of October, after a lingering 
but lenient malady, and was carried to the tomb amid the 
sincere regrets of many friends and admirers.* ^ It was 
remarked that, in his long and minute will, he left no in- 
structions regarding his multifarious unpublished works, 
most of which passed into the library of his relations, the 

*i Cf. Zaccagnini, Z7«' avibasuria di B.B. in Rassegna Crit. d. Lett. 
Ital., vol. VII., p. 201. 

*'^ He died in Urbino, October loth, 161 7. 



Albani, where they remain at Rome. His epitaph reckons 
his compositions at forty-eight,*^ and the languages he 
knew at twelve, which Crescimbeni increases to sixteen — 
substantial testimony to that avidity of application which 
is said to have been habitually appeased by perusing the 
the Fathers whilst at table, and by conning over Euclid in 
Arabic, as an aid to digestion. To detail and criticise the 
results of labours as Protean as Herculean is a task which 
we cannot attempt. His diligent biographer Affo' enumer- 
ates about thirty printed works, running to above two thou- 
sand 4to pages, and seventy left in manuscript, some of 
which have been since published. They may be thus 
classed : — 



In Theology and biblical criticism 


„ Mathematics 

• 7 


„ Philosophy 


„ Geography . 


„ Law 


„ History 



„ Topography and 

antiquities . 

■ 4 


„ Poetry 

. 10 


„ General literature 

and philology 

• 4 


•^ I record the more important. In 1575 he wrote a poem on Artiglieria, 
and in 1579 another on the Invenzione del bossolo da navigare ; this was pub- 
lished by Canevazzi (Livorno Giusti, 1901). Cf. concerning it, Provasi in 
Le Marche (1902), and Zaccagnini in Rass. Crit. d. Lett. Ital., vol. VII., 
p. 166. His masterpiece, Naiitica, written between 1580-85,15 a didactic poem 
in four books imitating the Georgics. Concerning it see Zaccagnini, Le 
fonti delta A^autica in Gioniale St. d. Lett. Ital., vol. XL., p. 366, and 
Provasi, Coiitribiito alio studio delta Naiitica di B.B. (Fano, 1903). The 
Egloghe Miste were dedicated to Ranuccio Farnese in 1590, and consist of 
nineteen poems in various metres in a Theocritan vein. Cf. Ruberto, Le 
Egloghe edite e itiedite di B.B. in Propuonatore (1882), and for Epigranimi, 
Ruberto, op cit. An. cit. His youthful erotic poems were published under 
the title Laura (Pavia, 1600), and, not to speak of other volumes, the Sonetti 
Romani appeared in Veisi e Prose (Venice, Franceschi, 1590). His works in 
prose were very numerous. I note here La Descrizione del Palazzo Ducale 
d'Urbino {circa 1587), and the Vite of Federigo and Guidobaldo I. of Urbino, 
the first published in Rome in 1820 and a bad edition of the second in Milan, 
1821. He wrote also a Cronaca (Urbino, 1707), a life of Federigo Com- 
andino, the Enconiio delta Patria, cf. Zaccagnini, Uiw scritto inedito di 
B.B. in Le Marche (Fano), vol. I., p. 4 ; and the Lettere Fainiliari, cf. 
PoLiDORi, Lettere di Baldi (Firenze, 1854), Ronchini, Lettere di B. 
(Parma, 1873) and S.WIOTTI, Lettere di B. (Pesaro, 1887). 


Of these a number were translations, chiefly from 
Arabic and other Oriental tongues. It is evident that his 
own preference lay towards his compositions in verse, a 
judgment which wants confirmation if continued popu- 
larity be the test. Yet several of his fugitive poems, and 
especially some sonnets on the ruins of Rome, possess 
much lyric beauty ; and, though his epic on the Deluge is 
but a wretched attempt at novelty in versification, that on 
the Art of Navigation is a work of merit for the age which 
produced it. Hallam, after classing it with Bernardo 
Tasso's ^;««(^zV/j as two of the most remarkable produc- 
tions of that sort then written in Italy, pronounces the 
Nautica " a didactic poem in blank verse, too minute some- 
times, and prosaic in detail, like most of its class, but 
neither low, turgid, or obscure, as many others have been. 
The descriptions, though never very animated, are some- 
times poetical and pleasing. Baldi is diffuse, and this 
conspires with the triteness of his matter to render the 
poem somewhat uninteresting. He by no means wants 
power to adorn his subject, but does not always trouble 
himself to exert it, and is tame where he might be spirited. 
Few poems bear more evident marks that their substance 
had been previously written down in prose." But what 
he wanted in genius — for therein lay his great deficiency — 
he in some degree supplied by wonderful versatility. 
Whichever of his many subjects he took up seemed that 
in which he was born to excel. Of his painstaking dili- 
gence we have said much, but we may add the pertinent 
remark of Grossi, " that so extensive was his reading as 
apparently to leave no time for writing, and yet that he 
wrote about as much as it seemed possible for any one to 
read." To this Tiraboschi adds the more flattering testi- 
mony that "his praises would be appropriate to almost 
each chapter of this history, for there was scarcely any de- 
partment of literature and science in which he did not 
apply himself and attain excellence." 


By an author so prolific, redundancy and diffuseness, the 
blemishes of his age, were inevitable. But in his lives of 
the two Montefeltrian dukes, these are conjoined with a 
tendency to elaborate his details into microscopic minute- 
ness, which weary and distract the reader, and which, 
though valuable adjuncts to the testimony of an eye- 
witness, engender more suspicion than credit in a narra- 
tive compiled, after a long interval, from less specific 
authorities. Being, however, a shrewd observer and dili- 
gent narrator, anxious to do full justice to his subject, these 
works, although deficient in personal interest, and relieved 
by no enlarged views or general application, fulfil the task 
prescribed by his patron, the last Duke della Rovere ; and, 
were his life of Francesco Maria I. to be published,^ Baldi 
would be our standard historiographer of the duchy. In 
him are, indeed, wanting the qualities of a philosophic 
historian, — elevation of sentiment, variety of matter, selec- 
tion of incident ; but they belonged not to his age, and 
were scarcely compatible with his position. The fate of 
Scarpi and Varchi gave timely warning to the literary 
world, that historic verity might have its martyrs, as well 
as metaphysical speculation of religious truth. His life of 
Duke Federigo, written in 1603, was printed in 1824; that 
of Guidobaldo I., completed in 1615, saw the light in 1821. 
The substance of these narratives had, however, been ap- 
propriated and published by Reposati, omitting imaginary 
conversations and supposititious harangues. Of the de- 
gree of impartiality with which they were compiled, an 
idea may be formed from the following extracts of letters 
addressed to their author by his sovereign, proving that 
his judgment was not by any means left unfettered : — " It 
has given me satisfaction to hear all that you have written 
me in regard to the life of Duke Federigo of happy 
memory, and I fail not to acknowledge with pleasure your 
devotion and diligence. In mentioning my house, I ap- 

1 Vat. Urb. MSS., No. 906. 
III. — T 


prove of your naming it of Montefeltro rather than Fel- 
trian, but as to seeking out its source and foundation, I do 
not recollect telling you to pass these over in silence. On 
the contrary, 1 deem it necessary to discuss this, yet not in 
the way I saw it treated at Urbino, attributing to it a mere 
bourgeois and private origin, much humbler than its de- 
serts. It will; therefore, be well to keep this in view, ob- 
serving in your eulogies, and generally throughout the 
work, a becoming consideration and regard for it, such as, 
without further hint, I look for from your sound discre- 
tion." — " As to the Life of Duke Federigo, only a few days 
have passed since I have done looking through it ; but we 
must talk it over together more than once, ere anything 
can be decided on."^ 

Had Baldi lived among our fathers, he would have dwelt 
in Grub Street, and become, by his powers of application 
and memory, a successful book-maker ; among ourselves, 
he would have proved valuable as a penny-per-line scribe. 
In Italy, his renown was, for a time, more brilliant, but it 
has now passed into comparative, and not unmerited, 
neglect. Yet his is a name of which his native city may 
justly be proud, and may cherish with respectful approba- 
tion this epitaph, once proposed for his tomb : — 

" Ah ! happy he who spent a lengthened span, 
Not in the vulgar dreams of grovelling man, 
But passed his days in living truly well ; 
Urbino's honour ! Passenger, farewell." 

Among the literary labourers of this age GiROLAMO 
MuziO*^ is entitled to a prominent place, more from the 
variety and volume of his writings than from their actual 
worth. The epithet Giustinopolite, usually applied to him, 

^ Oliveriana MSS. In 1602 the Duke instructed his resident at Venice to 
procure for Gian Battista Leoni access to its archives for the life of Francesco 
Maria I. he had commissioned him to write, which was published three years 

*^ On Muzio, see GlAXiCH, Vita di Girolamo Miizio (Trieste, 1847) ; 
MORPURGO, Girolamo Muzio (Trieste, 1893), NOMI, in Miscellanea Stor. 
della Valdelsa, No. 24 ; Nottola, Appunti sul Muzio poeta (Aosta, 1895). 


is latinised from Capo d'Istria, the adopted home of his 
family, who were originally emigrants from Udine, and 
spelt their name Nuzio. He, however, was born at Padua, 
in 1496, and, after receiving a good education, finding him- 
self dependent upon his own exertions, was fain to sell his 
services of sword or pen to the highest bidder. The same 
rule of self-interest that actuated Italian condottieri was 
too often followed by literary adventurers in that country, 
conscience and glory being generally made subservient by 
both to a livelihood. Girolamo had a double chance, in his 
twofold capacity of soldier and author, and tells us " that 
it was ever his fate to earn his bread by serving in the 
armies and courts of popes, emperors, kings, or petty 
princes ; sometimes with one Italian commander, some- 
times with another ; now in France, then in Upper, again 
in Lower Germany." Through these vicissitudes it were 
needless to follow him. For a time he was rival or suc- 
cessor of Bernardo Tasso in the promiscuous affections of 
Tullia d'Aragona, a lettered courtezan, and, without her 
sanction, published, in 1547, her Dialogue on the Infinitude 
of Love. In the preface he avowed a connection which 
occasioned him neither compunction nor shame, and 
which, in days when love was a science as well as a passion, 
was openly shared by Varchi, Speroni, Strozzi, and Molza. 
Four years later a dangerous illness taught him reflection 
on his past ways, and brought him to a devotional frame 
of mind. It was about the same time that he became an 
inmate of the court of Urbino, receiving from Duke 
Guidobaldo the ample pension of 400 scudi, with permis- 
sion to " attend to his studies, appearing only when he 
chose." The Duchess Vittoria countenanced him much, 
and he spent a good deal of time in her society, probably 
in consequence of his appointment as governor to her 
eldest son, and of his marrying a lady of her suite. From 
thence he went to reside at Rome, about 1567, and died in 
Tuscany, in 1576. 


Tiraboschi declines the task of compiling the long cata- 
logue of his various writings, in poetry, sacred and profane 
history, moral essays, and familiar letters,* ^ nor need we 
undertake it. A large portion of his works were directed 
against protestant doctrines, and, having reformed the 
habits of his somewhat stormy youth, he lent willing and 
efficient aid in strangling the progress of Calvinism in 
Italy, after a protracted struggle, upon which the investi- 
gations of Dr. M'Crie have thrown much valuable light. 
Muzio is alleged to have exhibited in this contest more of 
martial dexterity than theological acumen ; but his contro- 
versial effusions, being published in Italian, and clothed 
in a homely slashing style, were probably supposed quite 
as efficacious against the progress of heretical opinions 
among his countrymen, as the disquisitions of more pro- 
found theologians. It was not, however, for the dogmas 
of faith alone that Muzio wielded his pen. The soldier of 
fortune was quite as happy, and more at home, on topics 
belonging to the chivalry of his profession. His treatises 
on Duels and the Point of Honour were suited to the 
spirit of the age, and had in consequence a considerable 
run of popularity, now of course long ago past. The like 
fate has befallen his didactic poem on the Art of Poetry, 
in the literature of his own country. What most concerns 
us are his Lives of Dukes of Urbino. That of Federigo 
is dedicated to Guidobaldo II., and the original is deposited 
in the Vatican Library. Having been compiled with con- 
siderable care, it continues our best narrative of his reign, 
and has been greatly drawn upon by Baldi and Riposati. 
The edition printed at Venice in 1605 is but an abridg- 
ment, containing less than half the original matter. His 
Life of Francesco Maria I. was left unfinished, and remains 
unedited in the Vatican.^ 

*^ The fullest collection of his letters seems to be that of GlOLiTi, 1551. 
Cf. also Zenatti, Lettere incdite (Capodistria, 1896). 
- Vat. Urh. MSS. No. loii, and No. I023f. 50. 


We shall mention but one more prose writer of Urbino. 
Federigo Bonaventura was born in 1555, and owed 
to Cardinal Giulio della Rovere a fashionable education 
at Rome. On his return home, the marked favour of 
Francesco Maria II, was attracted by his good sense and 
winning manners ; but finding his courtly accomplish- 
ments unequal to the profound pursuits of that young 
prince, he laboured assiduously to supply his own de- 
ficiencies. By close application, his progress in Greek, 
mathematics, and natural philosophy was amazingly rapid ; 
but these studies were happily blended with the business 
of life, and, directing his powerful judgment to political 
affairs, he established his reputation by a work on public 
polity, which, for the first time in Italy, methodised the 
principles of government. These talents his sovereign 
turned to account by sending him on various diplomatic 
missions. Conforming in many respects to the maxims 
inculcated by the Cortegiano, he filled in the Duke's court 
somewhat the same place which Castiglione had done in 
that of Guidobaldo I., and died in 1602. 


Italian versification — Ariosto — Pietro Aretino — Vittoria Colonna — Laura 
Battiferri — Dionigi Atanagi — Antonio Galli — Marco Montano — Bernardo 

THE liquid vocables of the Italian language 
flow in melody with a facility perilous to 
genius, fatal to mediocrity : its stream is 
equally apt to dilute Castalian inspiration, or 
to quench poetic fire. Hence the poets of Italy are far 
outnumbered by its versifiers ; and hence among the 
laureates of Urbino we find but few historic names. But, 
in absence of native bards, the dukes of the second 
dynasty attracted to their court several of those most 
conspicuous on the Ausonian Parnassus, under whose 
influence a great change came over the manner and spirit 
of national poetry. Hitherto their predecessors had 
before them two models, whose excellence is still univers- 
ally admitted. Dante, in founding an epic literature, chose 
the grandest and most difficult theme ever dared by man, 
and his success, by immeasurably distancing his few com- 
petitors, has deterred competition. Petrarch addressed 
himself to passions and sympathies essentially earthly, 
and constructed a lyrical versification demanding no 
sustained exertion ; whose trammels sufficed, in his 
melodious and pliant idiom, to stimulate ingenuity with- 
out imposing labour ; whose perfection depended rather 
upon elaborate polish than upon originality or vigour. 
Thus, while Dante continued a model, Petrarch became 
a snare ; and hence, a " multitude of imitators, satisfied 
with copying the latter in his defects; who could easily 



follow him in the choice of his subject, but not in the 
beauty of his style, the variety of his knowledge, and the 
elegance of his imagery." Sonnets are indeed the most 
peculiarly Italian form of poetry, but they are avowedly 
ill-suited to the naive expression of pure and artless feel- 
ings. Their laboured strain and studied melody are 
adapted to an artificial cast of sentiment ; they encourage 
exaggeration and tend to mannerism and common-place. 
Singly they are charming, but "when taken collectively 
we become indifferent to their unity, felicity, and grace, 
and accuse them of what under other circumstances we 
might possibly commend, their recurring metaphors, their 
uniform structure, and the unfailing sweetness of their 
versification." ^ Yet in their complex form, a prolonged 
repetition of the same rhyme tends, like the return to 
a simple air amid difficult variations, touchingly to renew 
the feeling originally and pleasingly evoked ; and thus is 
it that sonnets often possess a charm of which, in their 
ambitious attempts, their authors were probably quite 

It is not now our object to analyze the varied metrical 
arrangements to which the fertile language of Italy will- 
ingly lent itself, and which its minstrels, 

" A mob of gentlemen who wrote with ease," 

delighted to mingle and multiply. Enough, in addition to 
the polished sonnet, to name noble canzoni, sublime odes, 
and tender elegies. But the absence of ballad poetry, 
with its wide-circling echoes of long antecedent events 
and feelings, is remarkable, and has been imputed to an 
early addiction of the nation to prosaic habits of trade. 
This solution is, however, little satisfactory in itself, and is 
equally at variance with the genius and the language 
of the people. Perhaps it would be more just to assign 

1 British and Foreign Quarterly Review, xi. 376. 
^ See above. Vol. II., cap. xxv. 


a diametrically opposite cause, and to seek in their vivid 
imaginations, and in the exuberant facility of their 
melodious tongue, that universality of versification which 
tended to depreciate its quality, or, at all events, to 
diminish the estimation bestowed even on their most 
popular compositions. It is accordingly in nations among 
whom poetry is a rare gift, and whose idiom can embody 
it in terse and simple diction, that we find those lyrics 
which, possessing a traditional popularity, are at once the 
germ and index of national sentiment.*^ We seek in 
vain for such among the recognised literature of Italy ; 
and though the dulcet chants of the Venetian gondoHer, 
and the monotonous lazzaroni ditties of Naples, may be 
deemed of that class, their infinite and ever-changing 
variety appears to divest them of the historic charm that 
attaches to the chivalric redondillas of Spain, and to the 
pensive minstrelsy of our fatherland. 

In poetry alone did the age of the della Rovere excel 
that of the Montefeltri, and among the great names whom 
it was their pride to shelter were Ariosto and Tasso, the 
only ones worthy to rival those of the bards of Hell and 
of Love. 

LUDOVICO Ariosto*^ was born of noble parentage at 
Reggio, in 1474, and, after a precocious struggle against 
the uncongenial legal career for which he was intended, 
was left by his father to follow the bent of his genius in 

*^ How could Italy have a ballad poetry full of national sentiment before 
she became a nation? Her living poetry then and for centuries before, as 
now, is the Rispetto. Cf. , for the Poesie Popolari generally, D'Ancona, La 
Poesia Popolare Italiana (Livorno, 1906) ; for the Marche especially GlANAN- 
DREA, Canti Popolari Maixhigiani (Torino, Loescher, 1875). 

*'^ I shall not attempt to give a bibliography, however scanty, of Ariosto. 
He has really nothing to do with Urbino, and the work done concerning him 
would fill a library. The best life after those of Baretti, Campori, and 
Baruffaldi is that of Cappelli prefacing the Lettej-e (Hoepli, Milano, 1887). 
The best edition of his poems is that of Papini (Firenze, Sansoni, 1903). 
For Bibliographia Ariostesca, see Ferrazzi (Bassano, Pozzato, 1881). For the 
controversy, Ariosto-Tasso, see Vivaldi, La Pin Grande polemua del Cinque- 
cento (Catanzaro, Calio, 1895). Consult also Edmund Gardner, Dukes 
and Poets at F'cr7-ara (Constable, 1904), a charming and a learned book. 

After the picture hy Titian in the Xatiotial Gallery 


favour of general literature.*^ From an early age he had 
composed dramas on Thisbe and similar themes, and had 
secretly drilled his brothers and sisters to perform them ; 
but when about seventeen, his youthful inclination was 
gratified by accompanying Duke Ercole I. to Pavia and 
Milan, for diversion, and to enact certain comedies. These 
boyish efforts have not been preserved, but the Cassaria 
and Suppositi, composed in 1494, engraft upon classic 
models the licentious speech of his age. Though well- 
born, he had the double misfortune to require a patron, 
and to find an ungrateful one in Cardinal Ippolito d' Este, 
whose ferocious character and lax morals exceeded even 
the ordinary licence then permitted to members of the 
Sacred College, and whose taste for literature, or perhaps 
emulation of a prevailing fashion, led him to favour men 
of genius. The services of Ariosto were invoked, as a 
soldier and diplomatist, when Ferrara was exposed to 
imminent danger in the wars following the League of 
Cambray. As ambassador to Julius II. in 15 12, he braved 
perils greater perhaps than those of the field ; but his fine 
temper and knowledge of the world ensured his safety, 
and bespoke the regard even of that domineering Pontiff, 
whose threats mellowed into favours before his conciliatory 

The time at which he first visited Urbino is uncertain ; 
but in 1 5 15, when the designs of Leo X. upon that duchy 
and Ferrara, the only Romagnese principalities which 
still withstood the grasping policy of the papacy, had 
given rise to anxieties in the families of d'Este and della 
Rovere, the Cardinal repaired to Francesco Maria I., in 
order to concert measures for their common safety. Ariosto 
accompanied him on this journey, and, having been de- 
tained at the Furlo pass by an attack of fever, which in 
his eighth Capitulo he mentions as dangerous, he repaired 

*^ Ariosto has told us in great part his own life in his Satire ; best edition 
that of Tambara (Livorno, 1903). 


to recruit his health at Urbino, whilst Ippolito proceeded 
to Rome. The greeting which met our poet at that 
lettered court partook of the discriminating hospitality 
which genius could ever there command ; and though his 
own poetical reputation was as yet but dawning, his in- 
timacy with Guido Posthumo of Pesaro was probably a 
claim in his behalf to special distinction, which the pub- 
lication of his Orlando Furioso, before the end of that 
year, firmly established. On proceeding to Rome, the 
favour bestowed upon him at the Vatican was not such 
as either to satisfy his just anticipations, or to do credit 
to the Pontiff's discernment. In his third and seventh 
Satires, Ariosto comments upon the long and intimate 
friendship of their former years, when the Cardinal de' 
Medici had proffered him a fraternal partiality, and vows 
that never again will he rely on other men's promises, 
postponed from ides to calends, and from calends to ides. 
The reception he at first met with might well give con- 
fidence to his hopes ; for on his presentation Leo stooped 
forward to press his hand, saluting him on both cheeks. 
But, as the Venetian envoy caustically observed, his Holi- 
ness promised largely, but performed not. All that fol- 
lowed this flattering accolade was a privilege of copyright, 
not even gratuitously issued; and as those substantial 
benefits, which his merits deserved and his position re- 
quired, were vainly expected, the poet quitted Rome "with 
humbled crest," a disappointed man. Yet he was of 
too kind a nature to harbour malice, as well as of a 
temper too easy for courtly struggles. He returned to 
the quiet of his native state, content to seek some respect- 
able employment, and avowing his indifference to scenes 
of wider or more varied ambition. 

" Let him who golden spur or scarlet hat afifects 
Serve king, or duke, or cardinal, or pope ; 
This suits not me, who care for neither gaud." ^ 

^ Part of this third Satire will be found translated in Roscoe's Leo X., 
ch. xvi., where the demands of nepotism upon his Holiness are playfully 


Whether his patron's proverbially slighting reception of 
a dedication of the first fruits of his epic muse proceeded 
from obtuseness, or, as Tiraboschi suggests, was a poor 
jest, it could not but be mortifying to a man of delicacy 
and conscious genius. Ere long a breach occurred be- 
tween them, on Ludovico declining to attend the Cardinal 
in a distant and fatiguing embassy to Hungary.*^ This 
occurred in 15 17; but he was soon after admitted into 
the Duke of Ferrara's service with a monthly salary of 
seven crowns, and allowances for three servants and two 
horses. His first employment in this new sphere was a 
mission, in 15 19, to condole with Lorenzo de' Medici, the 
usurping Duke of Urbino, on the loss of his consort 
Madeleine of France ; but ere he reached Florence, 
Lorenzo's own death had supervened. It was on this 
occasion he composed his first Capitulo, where, and in his 
Stanze, he speaks of that prince in the usual fulsome style 
of courtly bards, alluding to his uncles Leo and Giu- 
liano as 

" Twin suckers from that long descended laurel stem, 
Which in its verdure decked a golden age." 

How little the duty thus imposed upon him consisted 
with his own tastes may, however, be gathered from an 
incident characteristic of the age. The venal conduct of 
Duke Francesco Maria's Spanish followers having brought 
to a sudden close his attempt to regain his patrimonial 
states, in the manner detailed in our thirty-sixth chapter, 
one of their number resented an imputation to that effect, 
cast upon his comrades by some gentlemen of Ferrara. 
A challenge was the result, each party selecting a bravo 
to maintain their cause. This duel by deputy took place 
on the Neapolitan territory, and, of the combatants, who 
fought naked with swords, the Spaniard was left dead on 

*^ Cf. Satire II., vv. 1-24, 85-93, 97-"4, 217-231, 238-265, and 
III., 1-81. 


the field. The victor returned to be feted in the capital of 
the d' Este ; and Ariosto composed his thirty-fifth sonnet 
upon " Ferrara's true paladin, of truth, genius, worth, and 
valour, who has cleared up the Spaniard's slippery trick 
upon the good Duke of Urbino, and testified to Italian 
bravery." We may well suppose the satisfaction with 
which the minstrel saw this " good Duke " restored to his 
station in 1521, and may conjecture that he paid him 
homage in his mountain capital. A room in the ducal 
palace there, decorated with his portrait, went by his 
name, and he was enrolled among the Assorditi acade- 
micians.^ In 1532, a few months previous to his death, 
Prince Guidobaldo wrote to ask of him an unacted 
comedy, for representation at Pesaro, to which he replied, 
regretting his inability to comply with the request, as he 
had long ceased to write such things. 

Ariosto's life presents few remarkable incidents, con- 
sidering the space which his name justly occupies in the 
literary annals of Italy. Though honoured and compli- 
mented by the Dukes of Urbino and Ferrara, and by 
Leo X., he seems to have incurred few solid obligations 
from these Maecenases of his age. The only promotion 
awarded to him was the administration of Garfagna, a 
mountain-holding under the d' Este family, chiefly peopled 
by banditti, which he obtained in 1522, but resigned after 
three years' sad experience of the turbulent charge. His 
coronation by Charles V. is apocryphal, although he is 
understood to have received from that Emperor a diploma 
as his poet laureate. He died on the 6th of June, 1533, in 
his home at Ferrara, and was buried in the old church of 
S. Benedetto. In 1573 his body was transported to the 
new church, and in 1801 to the Public Library of Ferrara. 

It would be foreign to the object proposed in these 
pages to enter fully into the merits of works so universally 
known, and so little connected with our immediate subject, 

^ See above, pp. 255-6. 


as the heroic poems of Ariosto. But we have ample 
evidence of the popularity enjoyed by his Orlando Ftirioso, 
during the first half-century after its publication, in the 
testimony of one not likely to be partial to a successful 
rival : " And if the aim which a good poet ought to keep 
in view be that of imparting pleasure and enjoyment, it is 
obvious that this was accomplished by Ariosto ; for there 
is neither artisan, nor man of learning, nor boy, nor girl, 
nor old person, who is satisfied with a second perusal of 
him. Are not his stanzas a solace to the jaded pilgrim, 
who sings them to alleviate the irksomeness of his hot and 
weary way ? Do you not hear them chanted all day long 
in the highways and the fields ? I believe that there have 
not been printed as many copies of Homer or Virgil as of 
the Furioso, during the time that has elapsed since that 
most accomplished gentleman published his poem ; and if 
so, as cannot be doubted, is not this a clear proof of its 
beauty and excellence ? " ^ We set aside the minor faults 
which have been found in the execution, and most gladly 
escape from all critical discussion of the vexed question, as 
to its due observance of unity and sustained action. The 
absence of perfections so questionable is by many ac- 
counted a charm. Nowhere has imagination been more 
freely indulged, nowhere the poetic vein left to play such 
fantastic tricks ; but in its sallies, effort and restraint are 
alike unknown. As the figures in a magic-lantern, or the 
endless changes of the kaleidoscope, its phantasmagoria 
appear and pass by, without our being aware of the 
machinery which called them up ; yet, from time to time, 
there occur images of life so veracious, traits of nature so 
touching, that we are again summoned to the realities of 
existence and the sympathies of humanity, with a startling 

^ Bernardo Tasso, Lettere, II., No. 165. In a privilege of copyright 
granted in very complimentary terms by Leo X., the Orlando is pedantically 
described by Bembo as " a work in vernacular verse regarding the feats of 
those called knights-errant, composed in a ludicrous style, but with long 
study, and the laborious application of many years." — Bembo, Efistolce 
nomine Leonis X., Lib. X., No. 40. 


effect scarcely less marvellous than the wild creations 
which precede and follow these charming episodes. Even 
extravagance thus ceases to be a blemish, whilst facility 
and freshness are ever multiplying new beauties. Episodes 
and incidents, serious or grotesque, capriciously introduced 
into the poem, give it a motley and heterogeneous aspect ; 
variety of matter and diversity of style are its familiar 
characteristics ; and its unequal execution is, perhaps, less 
pardonable than the desultory character of its plan. Nor 
is it only by its novelty that this freedom of action sus- 
tains the interest of the work. The introduction of real 
personages and recent events relieves the tedium of long 
continued allegory, and stamps nature and individuality 
on adventures in themselves extravagant and apocryphal. 

In estimating the rank of this poet, critical judgment 
has too often been diverted from the quality of his verses 
to the fittingness of his style ; and in comparing him with 
Tasso, the argument resolves itself into a contrast between 
romantic and classic poetry. Upon such a discussion we 
purpose not to enter. Ariosto found his countrymen under 
the charm of old legendary histories, perpetuated by tradi- 
tion from the days of Charlemagne and his paladins, and 
more recently popularised in Pulci's burlesque epic of the 
Morgante Maggiore, and by Boiardo's unfettered fancy in 
the Orlando hmaniorato. He was content to sail with the 
stream, spreading his canvas to the prevailing breeze, 
rather than to strike out another course, and steer in 
search of newer attractions. This decision necessarily 
limited the scope of a highly original genius to varying 
the details and episodes of inventions already familiarised 
to his readers by other less inspired pens ; and it were 
difficult to account for his thus contentedly following their 
track, except from the conviction that none else was so 
certain a guide to success. Domenichi and Berni, aware 
that Boiardo had unworthily handled his theme, were con- 
tent to employ themselves in recasting it into more attrac- 


tive shape, and Le Sage's French translation is a mere 
paraphrase. But Ariosto chose the higher aim of taking 
up the story where Boiardo had left it incomplete, and 
working it out in forms less exaggerated and fanciful, but 
far more nobly conceived, and executed with infinitely 
greater polish and poetic beauty. 

PlETRO Aretino*^ has been designated by Ariosto^ 
" the scourge of princes," a description somewhat more 
just than the epithet of" divine," which is added possibly in 
irony ; for few men, it is hoped, have been so destitute of 
those high aspirations which form the link between human 
and divine nature. He has been aptly compared to an 
ill-conditioned cur, ever ready to yelp and snap at all who 
do not feed or fondle him, but to such as do, the most 
fawning of his species. He was born at Arezzo in 1492, 
and was natural son of one Luigi Bacci. After serving his 
apprenticeship to a bookbinder at Perugia, he went to 
push his fortunes in Rome, where his first remarkable pro- 
ductions were verses illustrating a set of engravings by 
Marcantonio, after designs by Giulio Romano, — a work so 
scandalously oft'ensive to decency that scarcely any copies 
have escaped destruction. *2 After the death of Giovanni 

*^ A good edition of the Lettere of Aretino was published under the care 
of Vanzolini and Bacci della Lega, in four volumes, in Bologna, 1873-75. 
The best edition, now very rare, of / Ragionamenti is that of Florence, 
1892. See also Fabi, Opere da P.A., Milano, 1881. For his life, consult 
Luzio, P. A. nei prinii suoi amii a Venezia e la corte dei Gonzago (Torino, 
1888) ; Gauthiez, L'Aretin, i4g2-i'^^6 (Paris, 1895) ; and Simgaglia, 
Sagzio di tino studio su P. A. con scritti e docwnenti inediti (Roma, 1892). It 
was, I think, Mr. Claude Phillips who wittily called Aretino not the scourge 
but "the screw of princes." Nevertheless, those who knew Aretino best 
will appreciate him most. Titian was wise enough to have him for a friend, 
and, indeed, he was capable of many very human and even beautiful actions, 
as when he would daily throw wide his doors at nightfall and take the lost 
and the beggars into his house. After all, those he blackmailed were black- 
mailers themselves. He made even the Pope fear him. 

- Orlando Furioso, XLVL, st. 14. 

*^ These designs have lately been found and photographed and published 
in Paris. They are impossible, but extremely vigorous and lovely. The 
verses are even more terrible than the drawings, but splendid too, with a sort 
of fullness of joy. 


de' Medici delle bande nere, his earliest patron, he went 
to Venice, and subsequently visited most of the Italian 
courts. His foul scurrilities and loathsome adulation were 
dealt out with equal readiness, as best served his insatiable 
avarice and undisguised selfishness. These base qualities, 
tempered by tact and great readiness, gained for him a 
success equally unaccountable and undeserved ; he became 
rich, caressed, applauded, dreaded, and is said to have 
earned not less than 70,000 scudi during his career. The 
popularity which his writings enjoyed among all ranks 
seems an infatuation,*^ considering their very moderate 
merit, and must be viewed as symptomatic of a generally 
depraved taste, though no doubt his own ineffable conceit 
and insolence contributed to the delusion. " There truly 
never was a man who combined such haughty presump- 
tion with equal ignorance of literature, meanness of spirit, 
and debauchery of morals. His style possesses no elegance 
or grace ; indeed he seems to me one of the first to intro- 
duce those ludicrous hyperboles and extravagant meta- 
phors that came so generally into use during the next 
century. Never assuredly have I met with books so 
empty and useless as those of this impostor, whose base- 
ness equalled his profound ignorance, and the sole object 
of whose writings was self-interest and lucre. As to his 
manners, they are amply testified by his works, wherein, 
besides a prodigal sprinkling of obscenity, there are men- 
tioned the women with whom he intrigued, and the children 
these bore him ; they in fact prove him destitute of moral 
or religious principle ; and if ever he makes a show of 
compunction or amendment, it is but to relapse speedily 
into his wonted profanity. Truly such a fellow, who ought 
hardly to have ventured to show himself in public, stands 
unequalled in presumptuous arrogance. But the most 

*^ His writings have much of the undoubted fascination of the daily 
paper, but are on the whole less vulgar and probably less harmful and 

After the picture by Titian in the Pitti Gallery, Florence 



surprising thing is to see a majority of European princes, 
and not a few learned Italians, humbling themselves 
before him without a blush, and rendering him a degrad- 
ing tribute of gifts and eulogies. Chains of gold, consider- 
able sums of money, pensions, and handsome presents of 
every sort, came in so constantly from various quarters, 
that he confesses to receiving from different princes 25,000 
scudi within eighteen years. The most amusing part of it 
is that these rich donations were made because he assumed 
the proud epithet of scourge of princes, on the plan, as it 
would seem, of threatening them with his indignation, and 
with attacks upon their actions in his writings ; yet never 
was there a more sordid adulator of the great, and no 
work of his contains a single word against any sovereign." 
It would be difficult to select words more graphic or more 
just than this description by Tiraboschi, which we have 
preferred adopting, to the task of reviewing so filthy a 
character.*^ We shall elsewhere allude to him in connec- 
tion with Michael Angelo and Titian, and other notices 
might be selected of his intercourse with Duke Guido- 
baldo II. The self-assumed privilege of his position did not 
however always protect him from the merited consequences 
of his meanness and malevolence. Boccalini (an author 
scarcely less mordent than himself, who is said to have 
expiated his satiric vein by being beaten to death) calls 
him " a magnet of fisty-cuffs and cudgels, whose enemies' 
hands, rivalling the promptitude of his own pen, had 
scarred him all over with as many lines as a navigator's 
chart." Among those who met him with his own weapons 
was Antonio Francesco Doni, a literary adventurer of 
Florence, whose arrival about 1552 at the court of Guido- 
baldo II. inspired Aretino with jealousy which exploded in 
an impertinent letter. The intruder, however, maintained 

*^ This is sheer hypocrisy. Aretino's intercourse with Urbino was so 
slight as to be easily ignored, and Dennistoun, as a fact, says next to nothing 
of it. 

III. — U 


his ground till 1558, the year after his opponent's charac- 
teristic death, and retaliated in a volume published in 
1556, entitled Doui's Earthquake, overthrowing the great 
beastly colossal Antichrist of our Age ; a Work composed in 
Hono7ir of God and the Holy Church, and in Defence of good 
Christians, and dedicated " to the infamous and rascally 
source and fountain of all malice, Pietro Aretino, the 
putrid limb of public imposture, and true Antichrist of our 

Still more pungent was the epigrammatic epitaph pro- 
posed for him by Francesconi : 

" Arezzo's hoary libeller here is laid, 
Whose bitter slanders all save Christ essayed : 
He for such shp this reason good can show, — 
' How could I mock one whom I do not know ?'" 

Aretino, returning a Roland for his Oliver, rejoined : 

" Francescon, wretched rhymer, here is laid, 
Who of all things save asses evil said : 
His plea in favour of the long-eared race, 
A cousinship that none could fail to trace. "^ 

But enough of such ribaldry. The writings of Aretino 
and his biography are in one respect useful to the historian 
of his time. The degrading views of human nature 
afforded by both form a contrast to the bright luminaries 
which yet lingered above the horizon, whilst by their 
shadows they complete the verity of the picture. Favoured 
by fortune far beyond his deserts during life, his memory 
is equally indebted to art. The encomium of Ariosto has 
already been quoted, and the pencil of his friend Titian 
has preserved his person in several portraits ; one of them, 

' "Qui giace 1' Aretino, poeta Tosco, 

Che d' ognun disse male fuoiche di Christo, 
Scusandosi col dir — 'Non lo conosco." ' 

"Qui giace Francescon, poeta pessimo, 
Che disse mal d' ognun fuorche del asino, 
Scusandosi col dir — che egli era prossimo." 


which, though unfinished, is perhaps the noblest com- 
memorated on Vecellio's canvass, adorns the Pitti Gallery, 
and almost persuades us that Aretino was a gentleman. 

From an age too prolific in parasitical literature and in 
shameless morals, there has descended to us a name 
radiant with genius, and unsullied in reputation. The 
historian of Urbino may contribute a leaf to the garland 
which fame has hung upon the brows of ViTTORiA 
COLONNA,*^ for her mother was a princess of Montefeltro, 
and to her maternal ancestry she seems indebted for her 
heritage of talent. She was daughter of Fabrizio Colonna, 
by Agnesina daughter of Duke Federigo of Urbino, and 
was born in 1490. When but four years old she was be- 
trothed, in conformity with the usage of her times, to a 
mere infant. Yet her marriage may be deemed fortunate, 
for her husband, Ferdinando Francesco Marquis of 
Pescara, was not only a cadet of the very ancient house 
of Avalos, which had accompanied Alfonzo of Aragon 
from Spain to Naples, and had married the heiress of 
Aquino and Pescara in the Abruzzi, but, among the 
warriors of an era still fertile in heroes, none was more 
early distinguished or promoted. He died prematurely at 
thirty-three, while in command of the imperial troops. 
His consort, imitating her grandmother Battista Sforza, 
had learned to console the childless solitude of his pro- 
longed absences by habits of study, and in them found 
resource amid the bereavements of a widowhood which no 
offer of marriage could tempt her to infringe. But though 

*^ For the life of Vittoria Colonna, see Campori, Vittoria Colonna in 
Atti e Mem. della Dep. di St. Pat. deW Emilia, N.S., vol. III., (Modena, 
1878). LUZIO, V.C, in Rivista St. Matitovana (1885), vol. I., p. i et seq. 
On her mother, Agnese di Montefeltro, cf. Casini-Tordi, in Giornale 
Vittoria Colonna, vol. I., No. 10. On her poems, cf. Mazzone, V.C. e il 
suo Conzoniere (1900). She was born at Marino in 1492. She was married 
27th December, 1509, in Ischia, to Ferrante d'Avalos Marchese di Pescara. 
Miss Maud Jerrold has published recently (Dent, 1907) a work in English 
on Vittoria Colonna which should be excellent. 


she sought not the world or its incense, her high rank, 
wealth, and personal graces, gained many an admirer, 
whilst the elevated beauty of her poetry, the charms of 
her conversation and correspondence, attracted to her the 
respectful adoration of the learned. She cherished her 
husband's memory with rare constancy, modifying grief 
by spiritual solace. In her piety there was neither blind 
superstition nor cold formality. Devotional exercises and 
religious intercourse shared her hours with poetry and 
literature tinged by their influence, and among her most 
welcome visitors were some of those Italian divines who 
favoured the Reformation. On this account she has been 
claimed as a convert to protestantism, but upon insufficient 
grounds. She adhered apparently to the faith of her 
fathers, and was spared by a timely death, in 1547, from 
witnessing the persecutions undergone by her friends of 
the new creed.* ^ Among those to whom the sympathies 
of genius and piety united her was Michael Angelo, who 
testified his respect by a visit to her death-bed, and his 
regret by a touching sonnet to her memory.*^ Not less 
gratifying was the tribute to her worth which Ariosto has 
embalmed in seven stanzas of the Furioso, canto xxxvii. : — 

"One will choose, and such will choose, that she 
All envy shall so well have overthrown, 
No other woman can olTended be. 
If, passing others, her I praise alone ; 
No joys this one but immortality. 
Through her sweet style, and better know I none." 

Of her writings few remain, and these but fugitive 
pieces.* 2 We are happy in being able to make our readers 

*^ See, on this subject, Rodocanacchi, F. C. et la Rtforme en Italie 
(Versailles, 1892), and Tacchi-Venturi, V.C. fatitrice delta riforma catto- 
lica (Roma, 1901). 

*^ For her relations with Michelangelo, see Raczynski, Les Arts en 
Portugal (Pa.xis, 1846, pp. 1-78). 

*^ For her writings, see Ferrero e Muller, // Carteggio di Vittoria 
Colonna (Torino, 1889), with the supplement (1892) of ToRDi, who has also 
published (Pistoia, 1900) 11 codice delle rime di V.C. app. a Margh. d'Angou- 
leine, and some unpublished Sonetti (Koma., 1S91). 


acquainted with them through the graceful translations of 
the late Mr. Glassford, selecting three sonnets in which 
she tenderly alludes to the blight of her widowhood, mildly 
inculcates the cloisters' quiet, and clothes in glowing lan- 
guage orisons of holiest fervour. 

" Methinks the sun his wonted beam denies, 

Nor lends such radiance to his sister's car ; 

Methinks each planet mild, and lovely star, 

Has left its sweet course in the spangled skies. 
Fallen is the heart of noble enterprise, 

True glory perished and the pride of war ; 

All grace and every virtue perished are, 

The leaf is withered and the floweret dies. 
Unmoved I am, though heaven and earth invite, 

Warmed by no ray nor fanned if zephyr blow ; 

All offices of nature are deranged : 
Since the bright sun that cheered me vanished so. 

The courses of the world have quite been changed ; 

Ah no ! but sorrow veils them from my sight. 


" If those delights which from the living well 
Above are dropped into the heart contrite 
Were also visible, and others might 
Know what great peace with love divine can dwell. 

Perhaps it would be then less hard to tell 

Why fame and fortune have been counted light. 
And how the wisest men transported quite 
Would take their cross and seek the mountain cell, 

Finding that death-sweet life ; and not alone 
In prospect, but now also while the blind 
And erring world from the shadows will not cease. 

When the awakened soul to God has flown 
With humble will to what He wills inclined, 
Then outward war to such is inward peace. 


" Thanks to thy sovereign grace, O God ! if I 
Am graff d in that true vine a living shoot. 
Whose arms embrace the world, and in whose root, 
Planted by faith, our life must hidden lie, 


But thou beholdest how I fade and dry, 

Choked with a waste of leaf, and void of fruit, 
Unless thy spring perennial shall recruit 
My sapless branch, still wanting fresh supply. 

O cleanse me then, and make me to abide 
Wholly in thee, to drink thy heavenly dew, 
And watered daily with my tears to grow. 

Thou art the truth, thy promise is my guide ; 
Prepare me when thou comest. Lord, to show 
Fruits answering to the stock on which I grew." 

In Italy the Muses have ever had numerous priestesses, 
welcomed with an enthusiasm measured rather by the 
gallantry of their admirers than by their real deserts. 
Among these was LAURA Battiferri, born at Urbino in 
1522-3, whose genius has inspired the pens of Caro, 
Varchi, Mazzuchelli, and others ; and whom by a question- 
able, and, as regarded her morals, a most unmerited com- 
pliment, Pietro Vettori compared to Sappho. Following 
a very different model, she, like Vittoria Colonna, com- 
posed many devotional pieces, often versifying the sadder 
portions of sacred writ, two volumes of which were pub- 
lished at Florence. Rarer perhaps, and more creditable 
than her poetic celebrity, was the reputation for moral 
worth transmitted to us in connection with her name, 
which she happily exchanged by her union with Barto- 
lomeo Ammanati, notwithstanding frowns from a high 
quarter. The Duchess Vittoria, proud of her talents, laid 
upon her an injunction not to marry out of her native 
state. This restriction had the usual result ; her husband 
was a Florentine sculptor, and it required all the influence 
of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese with his sister to obtain 
pardon for such flagrant disobedience. 

" In 1558, there were at the court of Urbino — of old the 
resort of talented persons — many great and famous poets, 
such as Messer Bernardo Capello, Messcr Bernardo Tasso, 
Messer Girolamo Muzio, and Messer Antonio Gallo, whose 


whole occupation it was, like white gentle swans, emulously 
to sing, and celebrate in verse, the eminent beauty, and far 
more eminent virtues, of the illustrious Duchess." With 
these names might be coupled Dionigi Atanagi, the writer 
of this euphuism, and also Annibale Caro, Antonio Alle- 
gretti, Marco Montano, and Cornelio Lanci. Of Tasso 
and Muzio we elsewhere speak, Caro and Capello were 
connected with the ducal family only by one or two com- 
plimentary effusions, in return for occasional hospitality. 
Allegretti indited an epithalamium on the marriage of 
Duchess Vittoria, in which, alluding to the heraldic bear- 
ings then united, he celebrated the prudent hand of the 
wise shepherd (Paul III.), who transplanted that virgin 
Lily into good soil under the shadow of the mighty Oak ; 
in conclusion, he summoned the attendants to scatter 
acorns and fleurs-de-lis before the bridal pair. Land's 
comedies no longer " fret and strut their hour upon the 
stage," but they are said to deserve the praise of compara- 
tive purity in an age when decency was no necessary 
ingredient of scenic merit. Three names remain for con- 
sideration, who, as natives of the duchy, may claim a brief 

Dionigi Atanagi was born at Cagli, and, after twenty- 
five years spent at the Roman court, returned, in 1557, to 
recruit his constitution in his native air. He was invited 
to Pesaro by his sovereign, at the suggestion of Bernardo 
Tasso, who wished him to revise the Amadigi; but there 
he found his health still further impaired by mental 
fatigue. Several of his sonnets are addressed to members 
of the ducal family and court ; one of them, inscribed to 
Guidobaldo II., lauds him as "a prince and captain of 
invincible valour, of wisdom superhuman, of bounty and 
benignity past belief, of ineffable eloquence, of incom- 
parable liberality and magnificence, a paragon of religion, 
the lofty stay of Italian honour and renown. Being the 
natural sovereign as well as special patron and singular 


benefactor of the author, whose every hope rests in him 
next to God, it is his desire, in the full knowledge how 
much is due to his Excellency's infinite merits, to fill with 
heroic praises of him whatever work he may undertake ; 
but overwhelmed by the grandeur of the theme, his silence 
is broken only by excuses for his deficiency." This ful- 
some trash is no unfair specimen of such compositions. 
The following invitation to Urbino, as an asylum of the 
Muses, is in a somewhat happier vein, which we have en- 
deavoured to render : — 

" Anime belle, e di virtute amiche, 
Cui fero sdegno di fortuna ofifende, 
Si che ven gite povere e mendiche, 
Come e lei piace, che pieta contende ; 
Se di por fine alle miserie antiche 
Caldo desio 1' afflitto cor v' incende, 
Ratte correte alia gran quercia d' ore, 
Ond' avrete alimento ombra e ristoro. 

" Qui regna un Signer placido e benigno, 

Ch' altro ch' altrui giovar unqua non pensa, 
Cortese, e d' ogni real laude degno ; 
Che ciascun pasce a sua ricca mensa, 
E 'n buon revolge ogni destin maligno, 
Mentre le grazie sue largo dispensa 
GuiDOBALDO, di principi fenici, 
Che puo col guardo sol far I'uom felice. 

" Qui le buone arti ed i nobili costumi, 

Senno, fede e valor, fido albergo hanno ; 
Qui fioriscon gl' ingegni, e chiari lumi 
Via piu ch' il sol spargendo intorno vanno : 
Qui mel le piante, qui dan latte i fiumi ; 
Qui pace e queta senza alcuno affanno ; 
Qui '1 vizio e morto, e virtu bella e viva 
Beato chi ci nasce e chi ci arriva." 

Ah ! beauteous souls, to virtue ever prone, 
Whom evil Fortune's cruel grudge offends. 

Bereft of every stay, and left to groan 
By her caprice, while heavy grief impends ; 


If in your aching hearts that grief evoke 

A wish such lengthened miseries to close, 
Speed 'neath the umbrage of the golden OAK 

To share its genial shelter and repose. 

A gentle and benignant Prince there reigns, 

On other's weal exclusively intent, 
Courteous, and worth all praise in royal strains, 

From whose well plenished table none are sent. 
Each evil destiny by him disarmed, 

His gracious boons are scattered widely round ; 
E'en by his winning glance is each one charmed, 

Phoenix of princes, Guidobaldo crowned. 

Ennobling arts and noble manners here, 

With wit, and faith, and courage have their home, 
While genius' meteor gleams more bright appear 

Than Phoebus flickering in the skiey dome. 
Here honey-laden meads and milky streams 

To painless peace attract, and gentle rest ; 
Here vice is dead, while worth resplendent seems : 

Happy such duchy's native, or its guest ! 

Among the men of letters whom it was the pride of 
Guidobaldo II. to attract round him, was Antonio 
Galli, of Urbino. His uncle, the Cavalier Angelo, had 
preceded him, both in the cultivation of the muses, and in 
the good graces of the Dukes, having been employed on 
various political missions by Guidantonio, Oddantonio, 
and Federigo ; during his leisure hours he had composed 
sonnets and canzonets in imitation of Petrarch, then the 
popular model for minor poets. For Antonio has been 
claimed the questionable honour of introducing pastoral 
dramas, which long exercised a debilitating influence on 
the literature of Italy, and spread from there the vitiating 
style to other lands. He, too, held diplomatic appoint- 
ments at the courts of Rome and Spain, and to the 
republic of Venice ; and having acquired the reputation 
of a man, not less of business than of letters, the Duke 


entrusted him with the superintendence of Prince Fran- 
cesco Maria, until his death in 1551. His contemporary 
and friend Marco Montano enjoyed his sovereign's 
favour without sharing any public employments. In 
youth he had been secretary of Cardinal Carlo Borromeo, 
and afterwards addicted himself to Latin and Italian verse, 
with a success sufficient to gain him applause from Baldi, 
and from Tasso the compliment of being ranked next to 
Guarini among the living bards of Italy. The suffrage of 
these partial friends has not been confirmed by posterity ; 
for Montano's poetry lies forgotten, and his name is 
cherished only in connection with the literary history of 
his native state. 

Among the names which shed a lustre upon Urbino, in 
return for hospitalities received at that court, was that 
of Bernardo Tasso,*^ whose splendour would have been 
more conspicuous in the galaxy of Italian poets, had he 
not given birth to a son of yet brighter genius. The house 
of Tasso was of ancient descent in the Bergamasque terri- 
tory ; but Bernardo drew his first breath at Venice, the 
home of his mother, a lady of the Cornari. Of his youth 
we know nothing, except that he enjoyed the advantage] 
of a liberal education, and that his morals were no excep- 
tion to the lax habits of the age. An avowed lover of the] 
matronly Ginevra Malatesta, he sang her beauty in strains! 
complaining of her continence ; and at Rome he dangled] 
in poverty after Tullia d' Aragona, one of those splendid 
examples of wasted powers and successful vice over which] 
the philosopher puzzles while the historian sighs, whosel 
talents were given to the Muses, whose graces were] 
devoted to Venus. 

Finding himself past thirty without either an indepen- 
dence or a career, he commenced the life of a literary] 
courtier, for which the social condition of Italy under her] 

*i Cf. Pasolini, / Genitoridi T. Tasso (Roma, 1895). 

Fro)n a picture once in the possession of James Dcnnistoun 



many principalities held out considerable inducements. 
His first essay was as private secretary to Count Guido 
Rangone, a warrior chief of some distinction ; and during 
the Lombard campaign in 1526 Bernardo was sent by him 
on missions of importance to the Doge of Genoa and to 
the Pope.*^ He remained with the latter on Bourbon's 
approach, and was commissioned by his Holiness to seek 
out Lannoy at Siena, and urge him to repair to Rome, take 
command of the imperial troops, and put an end to their 
outrages. In this journey the speed of his Turkish charger 
enabled him to escape from an assault which proved fatal 
to one of his attendants. Though unsuccessful in the 
negotiation, his dexterity recommended him as papal 
envoy to the court of France, in order to arrange the 
advance of Lautrec, whom he accompanied into Italy. 
After the destruction of the French army before Naples, 
we find him for a time secretary to Laura Duchess of 
Ferrara, and he accompanied the Marquis of Vasto on the 
Turkish campaign in Hungary. 

It was in 153 1 that he entered the service of Ferdinando 
or Ferrante Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno, whom he 
attended to Africa in the expedition of Charles V. against 
Tunis. His patron was a prince of ample means, and of 
corresponding generosity to persons of literary merit ; and 
Tasso, having distinguished himself by several published 
collections of verses, as well as by the able performance of 
his more immediate duties, was rewarded by offices and 
pensions yielding him about 1000 scudi a year. Finding 
himself thus independent at forty-six, he married Porzia 
de' Rossi, the beautiful, accomplished, and well-dowried 
daughter of a noble family in Pistoia, and settled himself 
at Sorrento, where he spent the best and happiest years of 
his life, and, with occasional interruptions of business and 
calls to the camp, pursued his poetical studies.*^ 

*^ He went in 152S to Paris on behalf of Conte Guido. 

*^ Cf. Capasso, // Tasso e la sua famiglia a Sorrento (Napoli, 1866), 


On that plain which matures a tropical luxuriance of 
vegetation, and where nature lavishes the brightest of her 
varying tints, his inspiration was developed, and the more 
brilliant genius of his son imbibed its earliest impressions. 
The casino in which Torquato first saw the light ^ com- 
manded a view of unparalleled beauty ; — the bright bay 
and its far-off islands of picturesque outline, — Naples, with 
its endless line of white suburbs glittering along the shore, 
— Vesuvius, the marvellous workshop of volcanic wonders, 
— golden sunsets of unclouded glow, and mellowed 
combinations of mountain and marine scenery awaiting 
the pencil of Salvator Rosa. Nor were these the only 
charms which the poet found in this spot. He has cele- 
brated in his correspondence its balmy and healthful 
climate, and the courteous hospitality of its inhabitants. 
These qualities still attract strangers to the Piano di 
Sorrento, and the villa which sheltered Torquato on his 
escape from Ferrara is now a comfortable hotel, inviting 
them to gaze from its beetling cliff on the scenes of his 
youthful inspiration. 

The A fuaciigi was commenced in that genial spot, and 
the Prince of Salerno complacently anticipated the ex- 
tended reputation which it promised to his protege. But 
the storm, meanwhile, gathered, which was to sweep patron 
and poet from their palmy state. The Prince, by entangle- 
ments which we need not trace, found himself compromised 
with the Viceroy, Don Pedro Toledo, and, from mingled 
alarm and pique, sacrificed his vast hereditary stake, by 
passing over to the French service. This happened in 
1552,*^ and Tasso followed his fortunes without being 
involved in his treason. After accompanying him to 
France, he came, in 1554, to Rome, where he took up his 
abode, in the hope of soon being joined by his wife and 
family, and of establishing himself there. But she was 

^ On the llthof March, 1544; Bernardo was born the nth November, 
U93. *^ 1547. 


detained at Naples, for the purpose of recovering part of 
her husband's property, or at all events her own fortune, 
which had been escheated on his flight. Her difficulties 
were increased by the selfish conduct of her own relations, 
and at length, in the spring of 1556, she died suddenly, not 
without suspicion of poison. " I have lost," writes her 
husband, " a woman whose virtues and estimable qualities 
rendered her beloved and endeared to me as life itself, 
who was worthy of general admiration, and in whose 
bosom I had hoped peacefully to pass the closing years of 
my old age ! " But other cares were falling thickly around 
him. Though joined by his son Torquato, he could never 
rescue his only other child Cornelia from her maternal 
relations, and suffered intense anxiety for her welfare. Still 
nominally in the Prince of Salerno's service, and actually 
employed as his confidential agent, he found himself 
estranged from his regard, his correspondence interrupted, 
and his salary irregularly paid. Bitterly experiencing the 
not unfrequent guerdon of fidelity to fallen dignitaries, he 
thus addressed his patron in February, 1556 : — 

" Your Excellency has now to learn the influence of 
unstable and malignant fortune upon this your unhappy 
servant. You know how often you have quoted me as an 
instance of happiness, saying that I had a beautiful and 
virtuous wife, by whom I was beloved, and on whom I 
doated ; that I had the finest children, ample means, an 
excellent house well decorated, as well as comfortably 
furnished ; and that I enjoyed the respect and good 
opinion of the world, as well as that most important 
advantage of all, your favour. Now you may see in how 
brief an interval I have fallen from that height of happi- 
ness into the depths of misery. I have lost my means, 
earned, as all know, most honourably, and with no small 
fatigue and peril. I have lost my independence ; and, in 
a word, my every comfort. I have been deprived of my 
dearest wife, and with her have occasioned to my unhappy 


children the sacrifice of their mother's dowry, and of all 
my remaining prospect of maintaining them, and conduct- 
ing them to that position which every respectable and 
affectionate parent would desire. But, worst of all, I per- 
ceive from obvious symptoms, that I have forfeited your 
favour without having given you the slightest cause. The 
reason of my sinking into these misfortunes, being obvious 
to the whole world, should not be concealed from you. I 
am so situated, that any one refusing to compassionate me 
must be devoid of pity and all good feeling; and if you still 
retain the smallest share of that magnanimity, generosity, 
or gratitude which you were wont so honourably to mani- 
fest to your servants, you will yet have pity on me, and 
will endeavour to raise me from that abyss of wretchedness 
into which I have fallen in your service." 

This sad appeal meeting with no response, he retired 
from the Prince's service with a nominal pension of 300 
scudi, which seems never to have been paid him. Writing 
to a friend, he says, " I have thrown out into this sea of 
troubles many anchors of reason, to save my tempest- 
tost mind from shipwreck. But I fear that, in the long 
run, if not conducted into port by a favouring breeze from 
some benignant prince, I may be swamped, from the cable 
of my constancy parting ; for it is hard from prosperity 
and happiness to fall into misery, and struggle with 
famine." Scared away from Rome by the din of coming 
war, in the renewed strife between France and Spain for 
the domination of the Peninsula, and 

" Eating the bitter bread of banishment," 

he had reached Ravenna, when an invitation arrived from 
Guidobaldo II., Duke of Urbino, a cousin of his late patron, 
whose court offered to genius just such a haven as he had 
hoped for. In October, 1556, he reached Pesaro, where 
the Duke assigned as a residence for the poet his casino 
called the Barchetto, a house which still stands within the 
walls of Pesaro, surrounded by a smiling garden. Its very 


limited accommodation, now used by the gardener, cannot 
have afforded a commodious dwelling, but such as it was, 
it appears to have satisfied Bernardo, who after a few 
weeks was encouraged by the Duke's courtesy to send for 
his son, with a view to establishing himself in that capital. 
His residence there somewhat exceeded two years, during 
which we gather from his correspondence few incidents 
beyond his literary occupations. Though avowing himself 
in the service of Guidobaldo, he does not seem to have had 
from him either employment or a fixed maintenance, but 
was probably supported by his hospitality. He now put 
the finishing touches to his Amadigi, begun fourteen years 
before, and repaid the favours bestowed upon him with the 
usual homage of a courtly poet. Anxiously clinging to the 
hope of making his peace with Spain, in order to recover 
his own and his wife's property which had been confiscated 
at Naples, he obtained the mediation of several courts in 
his favour, and even had recourse to the good offices of 
Cardinal Pole with Philip n.,then husband of the English 
Queen Mary. In this object Guidobaldo particularly 
interested himself, and it was at his suggestion that Bern- 
ardo dedicated his poem to that monarch, whose praises, with 
those of his consort, had been already sung in its eleventh 
canto. But his pearls were lavished unavailingly on one in- 
capable of appreciating either the gift or the donor, and a 
long apologetic letter from Girolamo Ruscelli, which accom- 
panied the peace-offering, remained unacknowledged. 

In these times literary advertisements were unknown, 
but the reputation of a forthcoming work was heralded by 
a scarcely less effectual expedient. Passages of it were 
handed about in manuscript among literary circles, and 
criticisms were requested from the author's more intimate 
friends. Thus was it with the Amadigi ; and Bernardo 
has not shrunk from giving to the world the letters by 
which he sought for or replied to such suggestions. 
Dionigi Atanagi was summoned from Cagli by the Duke, 


for the purpose of making those verbal corrections which 
were rendered irksome to the poet by weak sight. 
Sperone Speroni writes to the author that, in two re- 
visions, he had removed the vulgarisms, roughnesses, and 
redundancies, cancelling above two hundred stanzas, and 
that, in a third reading, he would probably delete as many 
more. The first conception was that of a regular epic ; 
but the cold reception which it met with from his friends 
induced Bernardo to adopt a manner more conformable 
to the romantic and less fettered taste of the age. In the 
summer of 1557 he read a canto each night, at Urbino, to 
the Duchess Vittoria and a select audience. Having thus 
raised public anticipation, the poet was anxious to reap 
the fruits of his labours in honour and emolument ; but he 
found a double difficulty in obtaining the 500 scudi required 
for the expense of an edition, and in procuring the papal 
licence without having the work submitted regularly to 
the censure. At length, in 1560, it issued, by the aid of 
Guidobaldo, from the press of Giolito, at Venice, in which 
town Tasso had chiefly resided for eighteen months, and 
where he, for a short time, acted as secretary to a literary 
academy, established in 1558, before which he read his 
Essay on Poetry, His remaining years produced few 
incidents. After an ineffectual overture to take service at 
the court of Savoy, he became chief secretary to the Duke 
of Mantua, who made him governor of Ostiglia. There he 
died on the 4th of September, 1 569 ; and the epitaph penned 
by his son, but never placed over his ashes, runs thus :- 

Erected by his son Torquato to 

Bernardo Tasso, 

Distinguished for the fertility and eminence 

of his genius, in the relaxation of poetry 

and in the affairs of princes, in both of which 

he has left memorials of his industry, as 

well as for the fickleness and inconstancy of 

his fortunes. 

He lived Lxxvi. years, and died iv Sept. mdlxix. 


His bereavement was thus intimated by Torquato to 
the Duke of Urbino : " On the 4th of September it 
pleased the Lord God to call to himself the blessed soul 
of my father, whose death, although in all respects mature, 
is nevertheless felt by me as most untimely, and, I am 
persuaded, will be very unacceptable to your Excellency, 
who by so many proofs of regard considered him among 
your most esteemed servants, and towards whom I know 
his especial reverence. Of this respect, and of the infinite 
obligations under which he lay to your Excellency, I am 
most willingly the representative ; and if that favour 
which your Excellency ever extended for his protection, 
and that of his interests, be devolved upon me, I shall 
deem it an ample patrimony that he has left me. And 
herewith praying a happy issue to all your honoured 
desires, I humbly kiss your hands. From Ferrara, the 
28th September, 1569." 

An amiable disposition and agreeable manners procured 
for Bernardo Tasso, in all the fluctuations of his career, 
troops of friends, including the brightest names of his age. 
In the many situations of trust which he filled, his 
prudence and address, his fidelity and sincerity, acquired 
for him general estimation. Although his literary reputa- 
tion now hangs, in a great degree, upon that of his son, 
his contemporaries, who knew not what the latter had in 
store for them, regarded him as the first epic poet of his 
age, comparing him even with Ariosto, whom he freely 
and avowedly imitated. To draw out some fifty-seven 
thousand verses on a borrowed and almost barren theme, 
in a style anticipated by several preceding minstrels, was 
an effort repugnant to fine genius, and susceptible of no 
marked success. Its necessary failing is diffuseness, vary- 
ing from inflation to languor ; its redeeming merit an 
acknowledged facility, sustained at times by fertile 
images, and by delicately beautiful descriptions. It is 
generally flowing, though, at times, feeble ; yet is con- 

III. — X 


sidered by Panizzi " unquestionably the best romantic 
narrative from amongst those not founded on the tradi- 
tions respecting Charlemagne." Indeed, his poetry, while 
sharing with coeval productions the blemishes of exuberant 
ornament and quaint conceits, is seldom surpassed in 
pathos, and his dulcet numbers reconcile us to his faults 
of manner. What, to its author, was probably its most 
important quality, is now, perhaps, its greatest defect, — the 
profuse flattery of which it was made the medium. " To 
eat the bread of others" was the often hard, usually 
degrading, tenure self-imposed on court poets ; and to 
such, a subject admitting of endless episodes, and the 
frequent introduction of existing personages, in their real 
characters or under transparent allegories, was a harvest 
of princely favour and of wealth. This, however, was an 
error of the age, which ought not to be charged on any 
single poet, least of all on one who had given his best and 
worthiest efforts to a barren soil. The fugitive poetry 
of Tasso partakes largely of this adulatory colouring. 
But, for him is claimed such praise as the invention of the 
Ode deserves ; and this was deemed creditable service to 
a literature which has often invested trifles with undue 

Bernardo was a secretary ere he became a poet, and his 
reputation rests more surely upon his correspondence than 
on his verses. That rhetoric which Bembo inculcated by 
precept and practice had become a fashion among men 
of literary pretension ; their letters were composed as 
models of style, and manuscript or printed collections of 
them were in very general circulation. Such compositions, 
when thus written for the public, wanted the freshness and 
simplicity which constitute their best charm ; but they 
gained attractions of another sort, and came to be read 
more for their manner than their matter. To this class 
belong the letters of the elder Tasso : nitid in style, but 
cold in feeling, they exhibit the niceties of Italian idiom, 


rather than the familiarities of Italian life. A very favour- 
able specimen, but too long for insertion here, is that in 
which he proposes to his wife the principles which ought 
to guide her in bringing up their children, and in the 
formation of their manners and character. Though some- 
times smoothed down to common-place, it breathes a fine 
spirit of paternal affection, and combines religious observ- 
ance with a becoming knowledge of the world. 


Torquato Tasso — His insanity — Theories of Dr. Verga and Mr. Wilde — His 
connection with Urbino — His intercourse with the Princess of Este — His 
portraits — His letter to the Duke of Urbino — His confinement — His death 
— His poetry — Battista Guarini. 

OUR passing notice of Italian song would be in- 
complete without the name of Italy's favourite 
bard, even had Tasso * ^ found no hospitality 
at Urbino, no sympathy from its Duchess 
Lucrezia. Yet what shall we say of one whose loves and 
woes have filled many volumes, — whose life, character, 
and motives, after baffling biographers, and puzzling 
moralists, are still matter rather of controversy than of 
history, of speculation than of fact. That he was imbued 
with true genius, with its failings as well as its powers, is 
fixed by the unanimous verdict of posterity. That his 
misfortunes have tended greatly to enhance the sym- 
pathising veneration which hangs around his name, may 
be quoted in proof of the eternal justice of Providence, 
The rolls of Parnassus may exhibit names more gifted, 
the annals of human suffering are inscribed with greater 
calamities and deeper griefs, but in no other case, perhaps, 
have talents and trials been more mingled together on an 
equally prominent stage. His supposed persecutor was 
elevated enough to command the world's gaze, and upon 

*^ For the life of Torquato Tasso, see Solkrti, in three volumes (Torino, 
1895). The first contains the Vila; the second, Leitere inedite e disperse di 
T.T. e di diver si ; the third, Documenti e appendici. See d'Ancona's 
review in Rass. Bibl. Lett. Ital., vol. IV., p. 7 et seq. The most complete 
modern edition of his works is RosiNi's, in 33 vols., 8 vo. (Pisa), and of the 
Rime, that of Solf.rti, in 3 vols. (Bologna, 1898-99). 


Alef Aiu'-i rvLT 

From apicliire once in the possession of James Denuistoiin 


him there accordingly has been heaped the blame of a 
wretchedness in a great measure self-imposed, and in- 
separable from a morbid and diseased temperament. The 
complaints of the poet have been embodied in notes 
alternately of wailing and of fire, by a poet of a nation 
whom he would have deemed barbarous.^ The charge 
which history has recorded against Tasso is to this pur- 
pose. That, whilst a retainer of Alfonso II. of Ferrara, 
his heart was enslaved by that Duke's sister, Princess 
Leonora d' Este, and that his passion was ill-concealed in 
the verses it inspired. That Alfonso having suspected 
the audacious fault, harshly visited it with a series of per- 
secutions, and finally shut him up for seven years in 
bedlam as a lunatic. 

From infancy he manifested decided symptoms of 
"a genius to madness near allied." Indifferent to toys, 
he seemed exempt from the emotions and the tastes of 
childhood. Precocious in all mental powers, he spoke in- 
telligibly at six months, knew Greek and wrote verses at 
seven years, and at eighteen published the Rinaldo, a 
sustained and applauded epic.*^ The reverses of his 
early days on which we have already dwelt in our notice 
of his father, the premature loss of his mother, the in- 
judicious liberty of thought and action allowed him by 
Bernardo, and the rough criticisms to which his writings 
were subjected ere his character and knowledge of man- 
kind were developed — all these tinged deeper the gloom 
of his constitutional sadness, and formed a training the 
most fatal to one of innately morbid sensibilities. The 
results were obvious. Bald before his time, his digestion 
enervated, subject to faintings and fevers intermittent or 
delirious, his health at thirty was ruined, his nerves and 
brain shattered. The natural consequence of his precocity 
was an overweening pride in his accomplishments, which 

^ Byron's Lament of Tasso. 
*'^ See on the Rmaldo, Proto, Std Rinaldo di T. T. (Napoli, 1895). 


rendered him jealous, touchy, and quarrelsome ; and 
though destined from youth to wander in search of given 
bread, nature had neither granted him the humble resigna- 
tion required for such a lot, nor imbued him with a daring 
spirit to rise above it. Men who live in courts must be 
prepared to encounter intrigues; those who publish poetry 
should lay their account with unsparing strictures ; and 
the smaller the court, or the more prominent their poetic 
merits, so much the greater need have they of forbearance 
and philosophy. But Tasso possessed neither ; and the 
jealousies of Pigna and Guarini, the malice of the della 
Crusca critics, stung him to the quick.* ^ A slight or 
fancied affront, which he met with from one of the 
courtiers of Ferrara, though avenged by a duel, brought 
his symptoms to a head.*^ From that moment, when in 
his thirty-third year, we find him a victim to the restless- 
ness, suspicions, fears, sad forebodings, and hopeless misery, 
which afflict lipemaniacs. 

Under such sinister influences the crisis speedily arrived. 
Whilst seated in the Duchess of Urbino's apartment, 
in her mother's palace, he rushed with his dagger on 
an attendant who chanced to enter. This, whether a 
premeditated assault, or an idle hallucination, seems to 
have been the ground on which he was, by order of 
Alfonso, placed under restraint ; but when the paroxysm 
was passed, he was reconducted to the Duke's presence 
with ample assurances of pardon. The iron had, however, 
entered into his soul, and the idea that he was in disgrace, 
owing to the malicious backbiting of foes real or imaginary, 
could not be driven from his mind. He retired from their 

*^ Cf. d'Ovidio, Dl una antica tcstiinonianza circa la controversia della 
Crusca con Tasso (Napoli, 1894) and Vivaldi, La pin grande polemica del 
Cinquecento (Catanzaro Calio, 1895). SoLERii reviewed this last in Cior- 
nale Stor. d. Lett. LtaL, vol. XXV'II., p. 426. 

*^ It was in September, 1576. Tasso had in July thought himself insulted 
by Ercole Fucci and his brother Maddalo ; he boxed Ercole's ears. Then, in 
September, they met him and assaulted him. There was no duel. Only 
Solerti has found out the truth. 


supposed persecutions to a Franciscan convent,*^ but, 
finding in its quiet no peace for his troubled spirit, he fled 
in disguise from these illusions, and, led perhaps by the 
bright memory of his early days, arrived on the sunny 
shores of Sorrento, where he sought a refuge with his 
married sister. But alas 1 the charms of that radiant land 
shed no gladsome influence on his soul. Ere a few 
months passed, he returned to Ferrara, in hopes of 
proving to the Duke that the crimes and the frenzy, 
of which he believed himself accused, were equally calum- 
nies. In the festive and kindly reception with which he 
was greeted, the wayward poet found new grounds for 
jealousy, imagining a plot to be formed against his literary 
fame, by plunging him in a round of dissipation, whilst 
" others " (meaning his patron) should reap the glory and 
profits due to his creative genius. That conduct so pro- 
voking should have brought upon him real slights, in 
addition to his imagined wrongs, can scarcely be doubted ; 
and, wounded at heart, he again had recourse to flight, 
wandering aimlessly by Mantua, Padua, and Venice, to 
Pesaro, the refuge of his happier youth. We shall else- 
where introduce the letter which he there addressed to the 
Duke of Urbino ; though it obtained him a compassionate 
welcome, his new host naturally counselled his return to 
the home of his adoption, as the place where he was most 
certain to be cared for. But in a fresh access of disease, 
he escaped from such suggestions, and obeyed them not 
until after he had visited Turin, disguised by poverty 
and filth. 

If these views of Tasso's malady *2 are as conformable 
to truth as they appear to be with the representations 
of his biographers, the time seems to have been now 

*^ He was placed under restraint in S. Francesco, in Ferrara, in fact. 

** On the whole subject of Tasso's madness, see Corradi, Le Lifermitd. 
di T.T. in Memorie deW Istit. Lomhardo (1880), vol. XIV. ; RONCORONI, 
Genio e Pazzia in T.T. (Torino, 1896); and Gaudenzi, Sdid.o Psicopatol. 
sopra T.T. (Vercelli, 1898); and Solerti, op. cit., supra. 


fully arrived for his seclusion, as a measure of justice to 
himself and of security to others. It is quite another 
question how far the treatment he met with at Sant' Anna 
was that best suited to his symptoms. Had he lived in 
times when the pathology of mind was more fully under- 
stood, and more ably managed, his genius might, by 
timely care, have been saved from a miserable wreck ; 
but his brain surely then required such aid as medical 
science could afford. If this be granted, the defence of 
Duke Alfonso is complete, whatever might have been 
the discipline resorted to in the hospital. Yet it may be 
well to remember, from the testimony of the poor maniac, 
as well as of others, that the delusions which for years 
had haunted him, regarding wrongs supposed to have 
been received from that sovereign and his courtiers, had 
given bitterness to his words, and pungency to his pen, 
little in accordance with the fulsome language of his age, 
or the haughty temper of his patron ; that if the poet was 
a victim of imaginary affronts, the Duke had met at his 
hands with real insults. But even were Alfonso's motives 
not those of unmixed kindness, the necessity of seclusion 
for Tasso cannot be affected by any such consideration, 
nor by the consequent aggravation of his malady from 
defective skill. 

An admission of Tasso's mental alienation was made by 
his intimate friend Manso, and has been repeated by 
various writers ; yet other biographers, anxious to relieve 
their hero from the reproach of madness, have essayed to 
screen him by charges of cruelty against the Duke ot 
Ferrara. Whilst Verga's theory appears to place the 
poet's malady upon its proper footing, and, by implica- 
tion, to absolve his patron, that author goes a step further, 
and maintains that the oldest and best informed authorities 
bear out a belief in the uniform and considerate kindness 
of Alfonso towards his wayward laureate, and prove that 
the allegations of Torquato's insanity having been but 

After the picture by Titian in the Louvre 



the pretext of a stern tyrant, bent on punishing the 
presumption of an unworthy aspirant to his sister's love, 
were piquant additions of after writers. We shall pre- 
sently have a few words to add in regard to this entangle- 
ment ; meanwhile, let us see the conclusion drawn by 
Dr. Verga, from his able argument " We may, therefore, 
infer that the Duke shut up Tasso in Sant' Anna, neither 
as a punishment for ambitious love, or unguarded and 
offensive expressions, nor as an obstacle to his conferring 
the illustration of his genius on rival courts, but simply 
because he saw that the poet's melancholy rendered 
him beside himself, dependent upon skilful treatment, 
and perhaps dangerous to others. I repeat, in the name 
of common sense, that his madness was the sole cause 
of his seclusion, not the effect of it, as some would 
persuade us." 

Although we have passed rapidly over those circum- 
stances that impart to Tasso's life its romantic and 
mysterious interest, we must detail somewhat more fully 
the various links connecting the thread of his chequered 
existence with the ducal house of Urbino. The arrival of 
his father, Bernardo, at the court of Pesaro, in 1556, has 
been already mentioned^ ; and six months later he was 
joined by Torquato, then completing his thirteenth year, 
who was permitted to share the education of the here- 
ditary Prince, and to mingle occasionally with the accom- 
plished circle at the Imperiale, until Bernardo carried him 
to Venice, in 1559. On a mind of such premature powers 
these opportunities were not wasted, and the remembrance 
of them cheered many an after hour of despondency. 
The homeless position and unsettled habits of his father, 
whose wanderings he generally accompanied, interfered 
somewhat with his education, which was then directed to 
the law, as his future profession. But whilst supposed to 

^ At p. 303 above. 



be engrossed by canonists and civilians, the youth was 
secretly devoting his hours of study to the muses. Fear- 
ing to avow these derelictions to his father, he imparted 
his boyish efforts to Duke Guidobaldo, who showed them 
to Bernardo in 1562, when the latter came to offer him a 
printed copy of his Amadigi. It was not, however, for 
two years more that the paternal sanction was obtained 
for publishing the Rinaldo, a dedication of which is said 
to have been declined by the Duke, perhaps from a fas- 
tidiousness which ere long he had to regret. Encouraged 
by the unlooked-for success of this poem, written by him 
in ten months at the university of Padua, Torquato began 
his great epic, of which he had already selected the theme. 
Whilst pursuing his studies at Bologna, in 1563, he is 
believed to have transcribed the first sketch of it, under 
the title of "// Gievusalem^' which is now No. 413 of the 
Urbino Library at the Vatican. It is preceded by a short 
notice of the subject, and consists of a hundred and six- 
teen stanzas, eventually incorporated into the three open- 
ing cantos of the poem ; but its variations from the 
printed version are so extensive, that it has been given 
entire in the collected works, published at Venice, in 
twelve vols. 4to, 1735. The dedication was this time, 
accepted by Guidobaldo. 

At twenty-one, he first saw the court of Ferrara,*^ 
which, in honour of his marriage with the Archduchess 
Barbara, the magnificent Alfonso was then rendering 

" The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy." 

It was in these festive scenes that the bard made acquaint- 
ance with the Princess Lucrezia. Among the portraits in 
the Palace of Courtesy, whither Rinaldo was conducted, 
and which, by an ingenious turn of flattery, are made to 

•^ On the Court of Ferrara, cf. Campori e Solerti, Luigi, Lucrezia e\ 
Leonora d'Este (Torino, 1888), and Solerti, Ferrara e la Corte estense nell<l\ 
secunda meta del sec. XVI. (Citta di Castello, 1S99). 


represent those personages whom Tasso was most dis- 
posed to conciliate, were those of Duke Guidobaldo and 
his son, with their respective consorts. The passage may 
be thus Hterally rendered : — 

" He of expression stern and brow severe, 

His mien ennobled by a royal state. 
The great Francesco Maria's son, is here, 

In peace superior, in the field his mate ; 
Beneath whose prudent sway, no peril ere 

U rhino's favoured duchy shall await, 
While o'er her happy vales, and golden plains, 
A joyous and enduring summer reigns. 

" Such is the sire to whom our planet owes 

Yon youthful gallant, with expression bright. 

Second to none, a terror to his foes, 

A wary leader though a dauntless knight : 

On him the weight of thousand wars repose, 
A thousand armies guiding to the fight. 

Whoe'er is doomed to immortality 

Shrined in men's hearts and mouths, HE may not die. 

" Turn your admiring gaze to yonder side 
On all that heaven of loveliness can yield, 

Elsewhere unmatched within Sol's circuit wide. 

From whose bright beams no beauty lies concealed ; 

The ducal crown and robe can scarcely hide 
The regal bearing on that brow revealed : 

Vittoria she, from great Farnese traced. 

Courteous and gentle, generous and chaste. 

" Lucrezia d' Este is yon other fair. 

Whose dazzling tresses seem a treasure given 

For guileless love therewith to weave a snare 

And toils, purveyed by Him who rules in heaven. 

Say, do Minerva and the Muses share 

Praise and disparagement in portions even, — 

Praise, since she them to imitate is fain ; 

Blame, that their rivalry with her is vain ? 

" These dames, in charms and chastity compeers, 
And proudly rich in every virtue rare "' — 


Such compliments from a poet of promising fame could 
not be indifferent to one taught to prize genius as almost 
the equal of rank ; nor were they the less acceptable to a 
lady of thirty-one, that their author had barely attained 
manhood. She received him with her sweetest smile, and 
presented him to her father the Duke, and to her sister 
Leonora, in terms which secured him a most flattering 
reception. Love and chivalry were fashions of the day, 
cultivated in common by all who strove to shine in the 
brilliant atmosphere of Ferrara, and the genius of Tor- 
quato lent itself gracefully to both. In many phases of 
Italian literature, it has been difficult for posterity to 
decide whether the fervour of amorous poetry was kindled 
by successful passion, or fanned by affected sentiment. 
The like mystery overhangs the love-notes which Tasso 
warbled in these palace-bowers. That his aspirations 
were not free from pedantry is proved by their, on one 
occasion, selecting the form of a public disputation, after 
the most approved scholastic models, wherein, during 
three days, he maintained against all comers, a series of 
abstract propositions regarding love and its developments. 
And though such singular exhibitions may sometimes 
have been suggested by deeper feelings, or accepted as 
the incense of the heart, they were doubtless in other 
cases but tournaments of gallantry, in which the name of 
some fair lady was adopted, to inspire the combatants to 
a victory extending not beyond the lists. Equally platonic 
might have been such love-tissued lyrics as our minstrel 
ever and anon dedicated to the sister Princesses, without 
any scandal, and probably without compromise of their 
purity. One of these, in supposed allusion to the favoured 
sister, having been specially excepted from the sentence 
of posthumous destruction pronounced upon many of his 
fugitive pieces by the poet when about to take a journey, 
must have ranked high in his estimation, and is thus trans- 
lated by Glassford : — 


" Now that my charmer breathes another air 
In woods and fields, how barbarous to remain 
In this deserted place, where grief, and pain, 
And darkness dwell, a region of despair ! 
Nothing is joyful here, and nothing fair : 
Love grows a boor, and with the rustic train 
Now feeds his flock, and now in sultry plain 
Handles the scythe, or guides the pondrous share. 

O, happy wood ! O smiling banks and gay, 
Where every beast, and every plant and stone, 
Have learned the use of generous customs mild. 

What shall not yield to her whose eyes alone 
Can, as they lend or take their light away, 
Polish the groves, and make the town a wild." 

During the four years which glided by in this charmed ex- 
istence, the youthful bard appears to have remained 
faithful to his first friend Lucrezia ; and it was not until 
her marriage to the Prince of Urbino in 1571, that the 
superior charms of her younger and more sedate sister 
effected for her that alleged conquest of his heart, which 
long-continued assertions have almost established as a 

It would be interesting could we fix the comparative 
encouragement which the bard enjoyed from the sisters, 
and ascertain the amount of favour severally vouchsafed 
him ; on this much contested but conjectural ground we 
shall not, however, enter. *^ Love-making, which is fre- 
quently a science rather than a passion, becomes almost 
invariably so where its flame is habitually fed by poetry or 
pedantry, and such were naturally the loves of Tasso in the 
atmosphere of a court whose polish was heightened by 
these accomplishments. The siren-notes of Italian song 
draw their melody from epithets calculated to soothe the 
ear even when they reach not the heart, and seldom afford 

*^ Cf. d'Ovidio, // carattere, gli amort e le sventure di T. T. in Stiidi 
Cr//?«(Napoli, 1879) ; see also Campori e SOLERTI, op. cit., supra, p. 229, 
note *i. 


evidence as to which of these organs they are meant to 
fascinate. This uncertainty gives hfe to a tribe of com- 
mentators, and has originated volumes of idle speculation 
as to the material existence of Laura and Beatrice, the 
platonic or passionate intercourse of Torquato with the 
Princesses of Este. The language of sonnets and canzoni 
is equally suited to express or to feign, to indicate or to 
veil, heartfelt homage ; and those of Tasso thus are capable 
of whatever interpretation best accords with the tempera- 
ment or the theory of his critics. Such, for example, are 
the tributes of his muse on the marriage of Lucrezia, 
wherein, however, a suspicion of somewhat undue tender- 
ness might attach to such lines as — 

" Sad as a mourning convoy seems to me 
Your merry dances, and your Hymen's torch 
Will to my funeral pile a flame supply." ^ 

In a canzone of the same date, he makes that god descend 
from Parnassus to preside at her nuptials 2 ; but the deity 
seems to have turned a deaf ear to this tuneful invocation, 
and we have elsewhere seen that no favour of his crowned 
the inauspicious union. 

On his return from France in 1572, Tasso was, by inter- 
cession of the Princesses, received at Ferrara as a salaried 
courtier ; and in the following spring, his pastoral drama, 
the Ammta^*^ was performed at the palace. Anxious to 
witness a representation elsewhere so universally ap- 
plauded, the Princess of Urbino invited him to Pesaro, 
where he recited his poem in presence of the old Duke, 
who hailed in him the honoured son of his former protege. 
From thence he accompanied Francesco Maria and his 
consort to their villeggiatura at Castel Durante, and it was 

^ " Liete danze vegg'io, che per me sono 
Funebri pompe ed un istessa face 
Neir altrui nozze, e nel mio rogo e accesa." 
"^ " Lascia Imeneo Parnasso, e qui descende." 

*^ Cf. Mazzoni, preface to his edition of Rinaldo e rAviinta (Firenze, 
Sansoni, 1884). 


then, perhaps, that their domestic peace was most 
endangered by the poet. The field-sports and manly 
exercises which attracted the Prince to that secluded spot 
had no charm for Lucrezia, long accustomed to a life of 
artificial splendour ; and whilst he passed his days in the 
far-spreading forests, she was exposed to the temptations 
of ennui, added to the perils of opportunity. It is, there- 
fore, not surprising that a warmer tone pervades the 
componimenti addressed to the Princess in this retirement. 
Two sonnets, in particular, sing, in cadences of sweetest 
harmony, her hand imparting perfume to the scented glove, 
that enviously veiled, from her minstrel's greedy eyes, a 
whiteness before which the snow would blush, and her bosom, 
the garden of love, the paradise of the poet, its ripened 
charms surpassing the budding beauties of early spring.^ 

To write amatory verses on a lady of appearance as 
matronly as her years, required singular tact ; but Tasso 
boldly met the difficulties of his theme. In another sonnet, 
excelled by nothing in the whole range of passionate song, 
after seeking for a parallel to her " unripe " youth in the 
opening rosebud, or in the unearthly beauty of the early 
dawn, that gilds the mountains and scatters pearls along 
the plain, he avows the flower to be most attractive when 
its leaves have unfolded their odours, just as the mid-day 
sun outshines its morning lustre. The same delicacy of 
allusion was needful in regard to both the princesses, 
of whom Leonora appears to have had the advantage in 
looks more than in age, for she was but a year younger 
than her married sister. We again avail ourselves of Mr. 
Glassford's paraphrase, in order to present it to such readers 
as are not acquainted with the charming original. 

"We saw thee in thy yet unripened green, 

Like folded rose, whose damask leaf unspread 
To the warm sun, still in its virgin bed 
Retires and blushes in the bud unseen. 

^ " La man ch' avolta in odorate spoglie : " and — 
" Non, non, si vaghi i fiori onde la natura." 


Or rather — for such earthly type is mean — 
Like to Aurora, who with earthly red 
Pearls the plain and gilds the mountain head, 
Kindling with smiles the dewy sky serene. 

Nor is thy riper year in aught less fair ; 
No youthful beauty in her choice attire 
Can so engage, or equal charms display. 

Thus sweetest is the flower when to the air 
Unbosomed ; thus the sun's meridian fire 
Exceeds the lustre of its morning ray." 

But these seductions did not divert Torquato from the 
loftier theme which engaged his muse. Far from the 
gaieties and the squabbles of Ferrara, he drew a fresher 
inspiration from glorious nature, and among the delightful 
descriptions suggested by the scenery around Castel 
Durante are generally numbered those of the gardens 
of Armida. Whatever may have been the true footing 
on which the poet's devotion was received by the Princess, 
and whatever the secret cause of her domestic misunder- 
standings, her husband never showed, on this or any future 
occasion, jealousy of his early playmate; and in 1574 
Tasso returned to Ferrara, laden with compliments and 
presents from the august circle at Pesaro, including a 
jewel of price from the Princess, which his necessities 
afterwards obliged him to dispose of 

Lucrezia had become Duchess of Urbino in 1574, andl 
her separation from the Duke took place three years later, 
in circumstances of which we have elsewhere spoken.^l 
Released from ties in which affection had never any partj^ 
she sought in her brother's palace distractions more suitec 
to her lively temperament, and renewed her intimacy witl 
its silver-tongued laureate. Among the reasons whicl 
incline us to believe that this connection was chiefl] 
sought upon her side, is the desire which Tasso about] 
this time manifested of exchanging the protection of th« 
d' Este for a residence at Rome. His intention was not| 

1 At pp. 153, 154 above. 


realised, for his visit to the Eternal City did not extend 

beyond a month, and before the close of 1575 he was 

at Florence. 

On returning to Ferrara in January, 1576, a new tie 

was created to the reigning family, by his appointment 

as its historiographer, on the death of Pigna. This was 

the turning point of his existence, whence the symptoms 

of mental disease gradually and fatally advanced until 

June, 1577, when, after that outbreak of insanity in 

presence of the Duchess of Urbino, to which we have 

already alluded, he was interdicted by Alfonso from 

corresponding with her. This command she observed, 

but Leonora occasionally consoled him by letters during 

his flight to Naples, of which we have spoken in tracing 

the progress of his lipemania. It was in the autumn 

of 1578 that he arrived at Pesaro, after his second flight; 

and, in this melodious but unfinished caiizo7ie, bespoke 

shelter under the mighty oak [della Revere] watered by 

the Metauro : — 

"To THE River Metauro. 

" O thou illustrious child 

Of mighty Apennine, humble though you lie, 
In story brighter than thy silver tide : 
O stranger fleet and wild. 
To this thy friendly and protecting side, 
Well pleased, for safety and repose I fly. 
The lofty Oak, with mantling branches wide, 
Bathed by thy stream, and from thy cisterns fed, 
Shadowing the mountains and the seas between, — 
Embower me with its screen ! 
Inviolate screen, and hospitably spread. 
Thy cool recesses undisturbed and sweet 
Shroud me in deepest covert, thick entwined, 
So hid from blind and cruel fortune ; bhnd, 
But not for me, whom still she sees to meet, 
Though far by hill or valley I should stray, 
Or in the lonely way 

Have passed at midnight, and with noiseless feet ; 
And by this bleeding side well understood. 
Her aim unerring, as her shaft is good. 
III. — Y 


" Since first I breathed this air, 

Ah me ! since first I met the glorious light, 

Which never to these eyes unclouded shone, 

I was her fatal care, 

Chosen to be her mark and her despite ; 

Nor yet those early hurts by time outgrown. 

Well to that spirit pure my words are known, 

Beside whose sainted tomb my cradle stood. 

Might they have laid me in the peaceful ground 

When I received the wound ! 

Me from my mother's bosom fortune rude 

Tore while a child : O yet I feel those last 

Kisses and burning tears upon my cheek, 

With sighs remembered ; still I hear that weak 

And ardent prayer, caught by the rising blast. 

Then parted ever ; no more face to face 

Folded in strict embrace 

And held by close and loving arms so fast, 

Ah ! but like Ilus or Camilla hied, 

With steps unequal, by my father's side. 

" In banishment I grew 

And rigid want, instructed by our strange 

Disastrous flight to shed untimely tears. 

Nor childhood's pleasure knew ; 

But bitterness to me of chance and change 

Brought immature the bitterness of years. 

Despoiled and bare, his feeble age appears 

Before me still. Alas ! and is my store 

Of griefs become so scanty, that my own 

Are not enough to moan ? 

That others than myself I must deplore ? 

But seldom, though I bid, will come the sigh. 

Or from these wells the gushing water spring, 

In measure suited to my suffering. 

Dear father ; now my witness from the sky. 

Whom sick thou knowest how I moaned, and dead 

Poured on thy grave and bed 

My ardent heart ; thee, in thy mansions high 

All bliss beseems, and unalloyed with pain ; 

Only for me the sighs and tears remain." ' 

1 Glassford, p. 203. 


The morbid feeling and heart-stricken melancholy which, 
in the language of Gibbon, "disordered his reason with- 
out clouding his genius, and which thus exaggerated the 
trials of his early life, gave way to another train of 
thought in the following letter, addressed by him, about 
the same time, to Duke Francesco Maria, which we insert 
as the most satisfactory record left us of the friendship 
and protection bestowed on him by that Prince. 

" Tasso to the Duke of Urbino. 

" If any action of mine has tended to confirm the 
rumour of my insanity, it surely was my directing my 
steps after my flight otherwise than to the court of your 
Excellency. For certainly I could not have repaired else- 
where without some degree of danger, or at all events 
some indignity and inconvenience ; nor could I hope to 
find in any other quarter more acquaintance with my real 
position, nor greater courtesy, knowing no prince more 
generous, more efficiently compassionate to my mis- 
fortunes, or more prompt in the protection of my inno- 
cence. Hence, to pass by an asylum near and secure, as 
well as suitable and honourable, in order to make my way, 
without comfort, or, at all events, with little credit, to a 
distant and less safe place, was, if not a sign of folly, at 
least a proof of impudence and stupidity. Notwithstanding 
all this, unlike other men who blush and repent when made 
aware of a blunder, I derive from my ill advised step 
pleasure and comfort rather than shame and regret, be- 
cause, being conducted, not where I desired, but whither I 
ought to go, and having there found the haven which I had 
supposed far off, across the high seas, I clearly perceive 
that my steps have been guided by wisdom from on high. 
And it must be much more pleasing to me to have been 
brought hither by divine Providence than by human pru- 
dence, seeing how much the more infallible guide is the 
latter to the best appointed end. And although, had I 


come here in reliance on being received under your 
Excellency's protection, it would have afforded me much 
satisfaction to find my hopes realised, and your courtesy 
equal to my anticipations; yet my gratification is certainly, 
and beyond comparison, greater, seeing that you have not 
only anticipated, but overmatched, my desires, and that 
you have at once equalled and exceeded my expectations. 
I say exceeded them, because upon the obliging demon- 
strations of affection and pity which you have shown me, 
and on your promise to undertake my protection, I found 
rather an assurance than a hope of safety, peace, and 
honour. Enough, indeed more than enough, for me, is 
that which you have promised. Were I to doubt as to 
the rest, or look forward with such every-day hope as 
one is apt to entertain regarding uncertain prospects, I 
should discredit your Excellency's affection, judgment, 
authority, and power, and I should prove myself un- 
worthy, not only of what you are about to perform, but 
of what you have already done in my favour. Thus, be 
assured that I live not only securely, but happily, under 
your protection. On this account my regrets are less at 
being so fiercely and iniquitously buffeted and beaten 
down by fortune, than is my satisfaction at being raised 
again by the arm of your Excellency ; and were there no 
other way to lead me to you, and to place me in the 
shadow of your favour, but this most hard and rugged 
one, with its toils and persecutions, still I should delight 
to arrive by it ; and I account as not only endurable, but 
as joyful and well-timed, those pangs which brought me 
to be yours, as it was ever my wish to be, even in my 
days of less adversity. It is for this reason I dare to 
appropriate these famous words of Themistocles, ' I were 
undone, did I not rush upon my ruin.' 

" I shall now pass by the long and melancholy tale of 
my wrongs as indeed superfluous, since the little that 
your Excellency has heard of my mishaps has sufficed to 


move your magnanimous heart to extend me aid. Nor 
shall I try to awaken in your soul any compassion beyond 
what it voluntarily fostered, without artifice of mine ; for 
I rejoice that in this noble and courteous act my exer- 
tions have no part, all being your own, and springing 
from the greatness and compassion of your individual 
mind. Most gladly should I thank your Excellency for 
what you have done, and will do, in my behalf, could 
I invent words and terms fit for such thanks ; but what 
can I, or what should I say to you? To you I neither 
can nor ought to use such phrases as servants employ to 
their masters, benefited to their benefactors, favoured to 
those who confer obligations, because, as my misery was 
incomparable and unprecedented, so it would become me 
to invent expressions signifying how much I owe to your 
Excellency who rescues me from it. I shall, therefore, 
say, that since, thanks to you, I emerge from a condition 
so low, so disgraced, so wretched, and so reduced in 
reputation and in the opinion of mankind, who looked 
upon me as virtually dead, I seem to have received a new 
health from you, by reason whereof I acknowledge your 
Excellency, not only as a prince and benefactor to whom 
I owe much, but it may almost be permitted me to add, 
as a creator, and I seem to say but little in avowing 
myself your most obliged and highly favoured servant, 
if I add not creature} Such, accordingly, I shall formally 
avow myself, and in that light I pray you for the future 
to regard me, and to contrive that I am regarded by 
others, taking entire possession of me and of my free will, 
which I fully submit to your sway. And this I should 
do with all my affairs, were it in my power; but some 
of them are not at my own disposal, or they should be 
placed at that of him to whom I have surrendered myself 

^ The letter is taken from an old transcript, No. 430, of the Oliveriana 
MSS., p 210, but it has been printed at vol. IX., p. 104, of the Venetian 
edition of Tasso's works. 


And herewith humbly I kiss your hands, assuring you 
that these words have been engraven by me on my heart, 
ere they were traced upon this sheet." 

The expectations which dictated this touching letter 
were amply realised. After a reception of singular kind- 
ness, the good Duke recommended medical advice for 
Tasso's now obvious malady ; and an issue prescribed for 
his arm was dressed by the Princess Lavinia della Rovere, 
whose sedulous care was rewarded in a madrigal. By 
such solace his restlessness, however, prevented him from 
long profiting. After reaching Ferrara some months later, 
his mania broke out in more threatening symptoms, and, 
on the 2 1st February, 1579, he was consigned to the 
hospital of Sant' Anna. 

From the sadder scenes and secrets of his life it were 
useless to raise the veil. Even the year after he entered 
it, Montaigne, a shrewd and unbiased witness, whose 
testimony may countervail much hearsay and conjecture, 
found him in " most pitiable state, surviving himself, 
neglectful of his person and works." Seven years had 
worn away in pitiable isolation, when a violent fever 
nearly closed his darkened existence, after which, whether 
from an abatement of his phrenetic symptoms, or in the 
hope of contributing to his physical restoration, Alfonso 
sanctioned his liberation, at the request of Prince Vincenzo 
of Mantua, the supposed assassin of our Admirable 
Crichton, who undertook the watchful care which his 
case required. Princess Leonora died in 1581, and, on 
various subsequent occasions, Duchess Lucrezia interfered 
with little success in his behalf, but, from the time of his 
leaving the hospital, his intercourse with her family was atj 
an end. He had written from thence several letters to the' 
Duke of Urbino, and, after his convalescence, addressed 
to him a rambling discourse on his real and imaginary: 
grievances, which shows a mind still shaken, if not un-' 


hinged. But, though the kind feelings of his early play- 
mate underwent no change, Tasso returned not to Urbino 
during many after wanderings, fearing perhaps to revisit, 
in circumstances so altered, the scenes of his brighter days.^ 
The nine remaining years of his life were, on the whole, 
less afflicted ; for, though ever restless in body, and often 
haunted by imaginary evils and visions, he enjoyed inter- 
vals of comparative serenity, especially in his beloved Bay 
of Naples, and at the house of his kind friend and bio- 
grapher Manso, of which, half a century later, John Milton 
was the honoured guest. 

His death partook of the melancholy shade that had 
overhung his career. Declining a new invitation from 
Duke Francesco Maria, in 1594, he brought to Rome all 
that mental and bodily sufferings had left him of broken 
health and blighted genius, to receive the honours of a 
laurel crown ; and, in the monastery of S. Onofrio, he 
awaited the issue of arrangements which the warning 
voice of exhausted nature told him were made in vain. 
From thence he addressed to his friend Constantini*^ the 
following touching farewell : — " What shall my Antonio 
say, when he hears the death of his Tasso ? Nor, in my 
opinion, will the news be long delayed ; for I feel my end 
to be at hand, having found no remedy for this trouble- 
some malady, which, added to my many habitual ailments, 
is evidently sweeping me away like an impetuous and 
irresistible torrent. To say nothing of the world's ingrati- 
tude, which would prove its triumph by consigning me in 
penury to the tomb, the time is now past for speaking of 
my inveterate fortune ; yet, when I think of the glory 
which this age will derive from my writings, in despite of 
all opposition, I cannot be left entirely unrequited. I have 
had myself brought to this convent of S. Onofrio, not only 

^ With that constitutional coldness we have seen in his life, the Duke 
spares but one line of his Diary to notice Torquato's death. 

*- Cf. d'Ancona, T. T. cd Ant. Costantini in Varieth Storiche e Letter. 
(Milano, 1883), vol. I., p. 75 et seq. 


because the air is commended by the faculty more than 
that of any other part of Rome, but also, to begin as it 
were from this elevated spot, and in the conversation of 
these holy fathers, my celestial intercourse. Pray to God 
in my behalf, and rest assured that, as I have ever loved 
and respected you in this life, I shall do the like towards 
you in a better, as is the part of true and unfeigned affec- 
tion ; and to the Divine grace I commend you and my- 
self From Rome, at S. Onofrio." 

Tasso's mind was habitually under devotional in- 
fluences, which grew upon him as he experienced the 
delusive results of his early ambition, the emptiness of 
success, and the bitterness of failure. Religion was in 
him a deeply rooted sentiment ; it soothed long hours of 
suffering, cheered the decline of life, and brightened those 
hopes for which the laurel crown had lost its charm 
Gazing from the convent garden over a scene of all others 
the most inspiring to the poet, the most solemn to the 
moralist, he caught the seeds of malaria fever. His 
springs of life were already dried up by twenty long years 
of suffering, and, after a few days of peaceful and resigned 
preparation for a change that to him had no terrors, his 
spirit was released from its shattered tenement. He died 
on the 25th April, 1595, wept by many warmly attached 
and pitying friends, and lamented by the citizens, who 
lost in his death the spectacle of his coronation, to which 
they had long looked forward with an anxiety unusual 
even among the fete-loving populace of Rome. 

Tasso's was a life of painful contrasts and of blighted 
hopes. The prospects of his childhood, bright as the sky 
which witnessed his birth, were quickly shadowed by 
a storm of tropical violence. The courtly favour that met 
his manhood proved baneful as a siren's smiles. The 
greenest garland that Italy could offer to her favourite 
minstrel was reserved until his brow was clammy with 
the dews of death. The honours lavished on his funeral 


have been grudged to his tomb. His resplendent genius 
was linked to the saddest and most humbling of human 
afflictions. The fame for which he felt more than a poet's 
thirst, and which he challenged as his due, was withheld 
by envy until no trumpet-note could reach his dull cold 
ear. But time, the avenger, has rendered him tardy 
justice, and Torquato is the popular bard of Italy, whilst 
the cumbrous pedantry of his della Crusca impugners is 
consigned to contemptuous oblivion. 

Of works so universally known as those of Tasso it 
would be presumptuous to offer new analyses, and super- 
fluous to encumber our pages with trite criticism. The 
edition of them by Rosini extends to thirty quarto 
volumes, a startling testimony to the copiousness of his 
commentators, as well as to his own wonderful fertility. 
His pen ranged over a wide field both in prose and verse, — 
the former including essays — moral, literary, and political, 
— dialogues, and letters ; the latter touching upon themes 
sacred, heroic, romantic, sylvan, pastoral, and lyric. It is, 
however, as an epic poet that he has gained a niche in 
Parnassus, and the admiration of posterity. No rivalry 
could arise with Dante, in whose Vision the things of 
time are strangely interwoven with revelations of eternity ; 
and his muse is of a nobler caste, though less touching 
character, than that of the bard of Arqua. But it is other- 
wise with the fourth great name of Italian minstrelsy, and 
no one discusses the merits of Tasso without keeping 
those of Ariosto in view. This, however, arises from 
habit rather than necessity. The latter name was dragged 
forward by the della Crusca Academicians as a stalking- 
horse to mask the malice of their attacks upon the later of 
Ferrara's two laureates, whose successive appearance on 
that stage alone induced a contrast for which their respec- 
tive works were by no means adapted. The comparison 
thus forced upon the world has been declined by Tirabos- 
chi, who, in the exercise of a sounder criticism, has 


assigned to each his peculiar excellence. Bearing in mind 
that the Orlando is intrinsically a romantic poem, whilst 
the Jerusalem is composed upon the epic model, there can 
be but little technical analogy between them, and the 
beauties of the one would become blemishes in the other. 
The striking and unlooked-for episodes of the former, 
running ever into extravagance and burlesque, must have 
outraged the grave unities required in the latter, and 
have proved more serious faults than any which the 
jaundiced optics of the academicians were able to discover. 
But perhaps Tasso's greatest triumph over his jealous 
detractors has been the continued preference of his earlier 
and greater work to his continuation of the same theme, 
in which he studied to profit by their criticisms. Many 
Italians, among whom the romantic school took its origin 
and maintained its influence, have preferred Ariosto, 
whilst transalpine critics have more generally given their 
suffrages to the poem of Tasso, as more regular in its plan, 
and better preserving the elevation and the unities ob- 
served by the best classic models. 

It has been the boast of some minstrels to mould the. 
temper of the age to the tone of their poetry. TassoJ 
chose a less hazardous aim, and, seizing in his great epicj 
upon a theme at once the most fertile and the most! 
popular, gained the sympathies of all. The Crescent,! 
once more in the ascendant, had swept the Mediterranean,] 
overrun Greece, and threatened Vienna. The spirit of the! 
crusades revived. The often-mooted movement of allj 
Christendom in the holy cause was at length carried intoj 
effect, and victory crowned the Cross at the great navalj 
conflict of Lepanto. But alas ! his was the last great 
name in Italian poetry;*^ and thenceforward genius fled] 

*^ This, of course, is nonsense. Leopardi, at any rate, was yet to come,! 
and in our own day we have heard the eager and noble voice of Carducci inj 
verse that, it might seem, is not less great than Tasso's and far more in touchj 
with life. 


from the land of song, or bowed unresisting before an all- 
prevailing mediocrity. Morbid repetition, redundant 
verbiage, far-fetched figures, — all those faults for which its 
liquid language afforded such fatal facilities, sprang up in 
rank deformity, and smothered generous inspiration. The 
academies sent out their many songsters, who poured 
forth notes artfully sweet, but rarely thrilling ; and already 

"Their once-loved minstrels scarce may claim 
The transient mention of a dubious name." 

Nor did they merit a better fate ; for their conceptions 
were extravagant, their imagery redundant, their execution 
alternately glaring and languid. Unnatural contrasts, 
startling conceits, ill compensated in them for vigorous 
diction and the stamp of genius. Yet the lyric muse was 
not utterly extinct, and from time to time its warblings 
may yet be heard in the orange groves and laurel bosquets 
of that bright land. 

Guarini's is another name shared between Ferrara and 
Urbino.*^ He was born at the former city in 1537, of a 
family already possessing claims upon literary distinction 
during three generations, his great-grandfather having 
been Guarini of Verona. In conformity with the custom 
of employing men of learning upon diplomatic missions, 
he served Duke Alfonso II. at various courts, until, in 
1575, he undeservedly lost his favour by the failure of a 
quixotic negotiation, having for its object to place the 
crown of Poland upon his brows. During the seclusion 
which followed, he wrote the Pastor Fido, a pastoral 
drama of more complex incident than had been hitherto 
produced, and whose refined polish and seductive strains, 
though misapplied upon a factitious style, long retained 
their popularity. It was composed in avowed emulation 

*^ For Guarini, consult Rossi, B. Guarttti ed il Pastor Fido (Torino, 
1886). See also Campori, in Giorn. St. d. Lett. ItaL, vol. VIII., p. 425, 


of Tasso's Aminta, and he carried the rivalry into ducal 
saloons, and even ladies' boudoirs, with the results naturally 
to be looked for among the peppery tribe of poets. But 
when Torquato's hour of darkness arrived, Guarini proved 
himself a generous opponent, and, in the edition of 1581, 
he did his utmost to rescue the cantos of Gerusalenime 
from the adulteration of unfriendly pens. When his 
country's subjugation had followed upon his patron's 
death, he was fain to seek other service with the Medici ; 
and soon thereafter the Duke of Urbino wrote to Abbe 
Brunetti, his envoy at Venice, in the following terms : 
We shall with much pleasure look over the pastoral 
which the Cavaliere Guarino has reprinted with notes and 
engravings, for we greatly esteem his meritorious works, 
and are aware how much we are indebted to his affection 
and courtesy. You will therefore thank him in our name 
for his remembrance of us."^ This presentation copy pro- 
cured the author a substantial reward in the following 
letter to Brunetti, dated some weeks later. 

" Most magnificent and most reverend, 

" In consequence of deaths and other circumstances, we 
find ourselves so ill provided with persons of such quality 
as was Albergato, that we must find some one as soon as 
may be. And recollecting the Cavaliere Guarino, who 
was known and entertained by us many years ago, we 
should be well pleased could we have him, provided his 
health be equal to his duties, not indeed for long journeys, 
but for attending upon our person, and accompanying us 
both in the carriage and on horseback, advising and con- 
versing with us in all times and occasions. And we 
believe, if due means be adopted, this affair might be 
arranged to our mutual satisfaction, as we remember that, 

^ Oliveriana MSS. 375, vol. XV. 104. The poem was his Pastor Fido, of 
which the twentieth edition, with the author's note, appeared at Venice in 


when lately quitting Tuscany, he seemed, from what he 
wrote to us, not averse to the idea of betaking himself 
hither, and in our ansvv^er we in no way discouraged the 
plan. We have, however, chosen to impart the matter to 
you, that you may manage it in whatever way you consider 
most proper for appearances ; and should you think it 
well, we have no objection to your even going in person 
to Padua, on some other pretext. As to terms, we believe 
that the Cavaliere's modesty, and our partiality towards 
him, would readily bring everything to an issue ; but you 
will give it all due consideration, answering separately 
this our letter, with whatever occurs to you on the subject. 
And so health to you. From Castel Durante, the loth of 
June, 1602. Yours, <« Fran- M^ DUCA d'Urb." 

The following letter, from Guarini to his sister, proves 
that the arrangement was completed to the satisfaction of 
both parties ; and an entry in the Duke's Diary shows 
that, notwithstanding a desire to return home, his depart- 
ure from that court did not take place until July, 1604. 

" My Sister, 
" I should like to get home, for I have great need and 
wish to be there, but am so well treated here, and have so 
many honours paid me, and so many caresses, that I 
cannot. I must tell you that all my expenses and those 
of my servants are paid, so that I have not a farthing in 
the world to spend for anything I want, and orders given 
to let me have all I ask ; besides which, they give me 
300 scudi of yearly pension, which, with the expense of 
furnished house and maintenance, amounts to above 
600 scudi a year. See, then, if I can leave this. Our 
Lord God give you every happiness. From Pesaro, the 
23rd of February, 1603. 

" Your most loving brother, 

"Battista Guarini." 



A letter from him condoling with the Duchess of 
Urbino on the death of her sister Leonora has been 
printed in Black's Life of Tasso, II., 451, but this brief 
notice may suffice to close the literary annals of our 
mountain principality. 


The decline of Italian art : its causes and results — Artists of Urbino — 
Girolamo della Genga, and his son Bartolomeo — Other architects and 

THE zenith of Italian art, especially of Italian 
painting, was attained between 1490 and 
1520. That brief span, scarcely a genera- 
tion of human life, not only embraced the 
entire artistic life of Raffaele and witnessed the finest 
efforts of Leonardo, Luini, Bellini, Giorgione, Francia, 
Ghirlandaio, Fra Bartolomeo, Sodoma, Perugino, Pin- 
turicchio, Spagna, and Salerno ; it also ripened the 
earlier and better fruits of Buonarotti's genius, of del 
Sarto's too quickly degenerate palette, and of Titian's 

" Pencil pregnant with celestial hues." 

It saw the metropolitan St. Peter's commenced, the Stanze 
and Logge well advanced ; it assembled in the Vatican 
halls the noblest band of painters ever united by one 
scholarship. That bright spot, the Pausilippo of our 
pictorial journey, has been passed. Our onward way lies 
through dreary days of progressive degeneracy, often fit- 
fully illuminated by its reflected lights, but more rarely 
gladdened by gleams of original genius, or efforts of self- 
forgetting zeal. 

In reviewing the history of painting, its stages of pro- 
gress will be readily distinguished. The Byzantine period 
may be regarded as its starting point of stationary con- 



ventionalism.*^ This was followed by an age of sentiment, 
when earnest thought gradually ameliorated penury of 
invention, and supplied intensity to expression. To it 
succeeded an epoch of effort, the hand failing to realise the 
aims of mind,*- the eye awaking to truths of nature, but 
bewildered by their hidden meanings. Next came the 
age of mastery;*^ one of difficulties surmounted and 
doubts made clear. But the summit when attained was 
speedily quitted ; the period of facility was too soon one 
of decline. In the words of Fuseli, painters then " uniformly 
agreed to lose the subject in the medium." Mechanism 
became the great object, copiousness a prized merit, until 
mediocrity sought refuge in a multitude of figures, or fell 
back upon theatrical artifice. The close of the fifteenth 
century was indeed a cycle of rapid progression, opening 
many new channels for the efforts of mind, and it was in 
Italy that this expansion was primarily felt. The ultra- 

*^ I do not understand what this means. The "Byzantine period" was 
not the starting point of anything, but rather a decadence ; and how can any- 
thing be the starting point of something "stationary"? Christian art comes 
to us in the first centuries as absolutely dependent on Roman pagan work. 
It did not contrive a new force of expression, but very happily used the old. 
For the history of art is continuous, and in Byzantine work we see merely a 
decadence, not something new. The Renaissance in painting is based on 
Roman art of pagan times in the work of the Cosmati and the Cavallini, from 
whom in all probability Giotto learned all he could learn. It is the same 
with sculpture. Niccolo Pisano is a pupil of the ancients, a native of Apulia. 
The northern influence came later. 

*" Yes? In Duccio's work, for instance. But the hand of man cannot 
achieve anything finer than the work of these early men — than the Annuncia- 
tion of Simone Martini, for instance. That they preferred a decorative con- 
vention to a realistic does not accuse them of incompetence. Dennistoun 
would have said that the Japanese could not draw. It was not that "the 
hand failed to realise the aims of the mind," but that the mind saw things 
from a standpoint different from ours. It is easy to talk of the "truths of 
nature." What are the truths of nature? It is a question of appearance, of 
a manner of seeing, of an attitude of mind, of soul, toward nature and 
toward itself. Simone Martini was as great an artist, in the true sense of the 
word, as Raphael, in his own convention. Raphael's convention is still ours, 
but we are already passing out of it. Is it not so ? 

*'■* Yes ; an age of realism. It is as though one preferred a Roman work 
of the best period to a Greek work of the fifth century B.C. What came was 
the tyranny of the body, without the old excuse, for we no longer believed 
in the body ; we no longer believed in anything but unreality. It is not 
that the earlier men were "right" and the later "wrong," but that both 

< s 


montane invention of printing was then eagerly adopted ; 
the cultivation of revived philosophy, and the convulsions 
consequent upon foreign inroads, introduced elements of 
change into the Peninsular mind as well as its politics. In 
nothing was this movement more felt than in the fine arts. 
During early times, the ideas of artists exceeded their 
means of expression.* ^ Yet their works, even when 
trammelled by fetters, partly of limited skill, but more of 
traditionary mannerism, are often fit exponents of simple 
thoughts, while the coincidence between the conception 
and style renders solecisms of execution less startling. 
The forms may be timid or stiff, but they are always care- 
ful and earnest. But now a further range has been given 
to individual fancy. The choice and conception of the 
theme, its character and composition, were alike freed from 
conventional trammels, and became subjective (in the 
German sense) rather than objective. Religion and its 
ritual remained the same, the hero-worship of saints con- 
tinued among its prominent features, art still furnished 
aids to devotion. But, as books became abundant and 
readers multiplied, pictures were no longer the written 
language of holy things for the multitude. The high 
mission of Christian art had been fulfilled ; its limners, 
less impressed with their themes, thought more of them- 
selves ; they appealed rather to the judgment than to the 
feelings. They aimed at imitating nature to the life more 
than at embodying transcendental abstractions.*- We 

are equally right and wrong where right and wrong do not count since only 
beauty may decide. Dennistoun speaks as he does because he could not 
possibly have spoken otherwise. He is wrong not so much in what he asserts 
as in what he denies. 

•^ Here, again, I do not understand. How can an artist's ideas exceed 
his means of expression ? — I do not say his power of expression. What means 
of expression did Dante lack that Milton enjoyed, or Sophocles? In what 
was Donatello poorer than Michelangelo or Niccolo Pisano than either? 
Giotto had the same means of expression as Apelles or Leonardo, for the 
work he undertook, and before a new means of expression was invented, he 
could not have conceived the use of it. 

*^ Their aim was perhaps rather the realistic imitation of life than the ex- 
pression of it. 

III.— Z 


have already seen how the devotional inspirations of early 
painting, which Beato Angelico's pencil had mellowed 
into loveliness, attained, under the guidance of Raffaele, 
to consummate beauty of form. But the impulse that 
had forced pictorial art to its culminating point allowed it 
no rest, and the descending path was too quickly entered. 
The speculative minds of its creators and its admirers 
craved for novelty, for fresh themes and further powers. 
Elevation of sentiment or purity of design no longer 
sufficed,*^ and with the competition which ensued for the 
guidance of public taste, there sprang up many solecisms 
to degrade it. Much that was in itself valuable was 
exaggerated into deformity. The knowledge of anatomy 
which enabled Michael Angelo to embody the terrible, 
that element of invention which he was the first fully to 
develop, also tempted him to combinations outraging 
nature and harmony;*- and his style has transmitted to 
our own day an influence dangerous to genius,* ^ fatal to 
mediocrity. Less permanent, because less healthful,*^ was 
the opposite quality, introduced by Correggio, whose grace, 
founded upon artifice, degenerated under Parmegianino 
and Baroccio into meretricious affectation. A third in- 
gredient, not so perilous and more pleasing, was brought 
to perfection in Venice, where alone can be appreciated 
the golden tints of Titian*^ and the silvery harmony of 
Veronese. It is indeed remarkable that all the schools 
most celebrated for colouring have arisen in maritime 
localities, and been deficient in accurate design. 

In a preceding portion of this work we have alluded to 
the innovations of naturalism in painting, by men who in- 

*^ They never sufficed. 

*'^ Too strong. Michelangelo was always master of the weapons he used, 
however destructive they may have been to his disciples. 

*^ Nothing is dangerous to genius, not even mediocrity. 

*■* This term applies to the science of medicine, not to aesthetic. 

*^ Titian can be seen to advantage only in Madrid, Paris, Vienna, or 
London. In Venice he is almost absent. 


troduced perspective, created chiaroscuro, cultivated design, 
and mastered nude action. Through their example, it not 
only extended a predominating influence over pictorial 
treatment, but quickly obtained that place as a canon of 
artistic criticism which it has since continued commonly to 
hold. It may seem rash to impugn a principle so univer- 
sally adopted ; and if perfection in art really depends upon 
an accurate imitation of nature, it would be folly to gain- 
say it. But the principle may be carried too far ; and if 
we are to allow to art a nobler mission, — if we recognise 
in painting and sculpture a language wherein gifted men 
can embody, develop, and elaborately adorn the concep- 
tions of beauty and sublimity, or it may be the sallies of 
humour and the scintillations of wit that flit across the 
fancy — a key whereby they can impart to their fellows, 
and transmit to all ages and nations, their emanations 
of genius, their poetic flashes, their benevolent sympathies, 
their devotional aspirations, — then surely a higher standard 
should be applied to what are often ranked as merely imi- 
tative arts, and are tested by their supposed fidelity as 
transcripts of external objects.*^ 

Such views will to many seem visionary and strange 
heresies. Yet they are truths by which painting reached 
its golden era, and which, even in its decline, have been 
largely drawn upon. Under Louis XIV., a vile epoch of a 
faulty school,*- allegory triumphed over reality, and the 
best feelings of humanity were forced into masquerade. 
But what shall we think of the taste which admits such 
solecisms against nature, whilst objecting to the conven- 
tionalities practised by the early Christian masters, and 
adopted by the purists of our own day ? What, indeed, 
is art but a tissue of conventionalities, even when the imi- 
tation of external objects is its aim ? Upon what laws of 

•^ After all, Dennistoun is on the side of the angels — though a little 

*" One of the sad days. Cf. vol. II., p. 95, note *i. 


nature are regulated the gradations of aerial perspective, 
or the receding or flattened surfaces of basso-relievo? 
Does not the landscape painter, in modifying the tones 
of his colouring, remember that his mimic scenes are to be 
enclosed in gilt frames, an appendage for which Providence 
has made no provision in the real ones ? But to such imi- 
tations art neither is nor ought to be confined. As the 
language of genius, it expresses loftier themes, and none 
but kindred spirits can fitly judge of its style, or set 
bounds to its range. The rustic who spells through Burns 
or Bloomfield would pause upon Paradise Lost, and throw 
down Hamlet in despair ; whilst, to the presbyterian who 
ornaments his walls with Knox's portrait, or the Battle of 
Bothwell-brig, the Last Judgment would seem unintel- 
ligible, the Transfiguration blasphemous, the Judgment 
of Paris a flagrant indecency. In like manner, those who 
have neither imbibed the spirit of the Roman ritual, nor 
studied the forms of Christian art, may fully appreciate 
the dishevelled goddesses of Rubens, or the golden sunsets 
of Claude, — the glowing tints of Titian, or the transparent 
finish of Teniers ; but let them understand ere they sneer 
at those sacred paintings which for successive ages have 
confirmed the faith of the unlettered, elevated their hopes, 
and inspired their prayerful ejaculations. 

When the Christian mythology, which had supplied art 
with subjects derived from inspired writ or venerated 
tradition, was supplanted by an idolatry of nature content 
to feed spiritual longings with common forms copied with- 
out due selection from daily life, men no longer painted 
what religion taught them to believe, but what their senses 
offered for imitation, modified by their own unrestrained 
fancies. Painting thus became an accessory of luxurious 
life, and its productions were regarded somewhat as 
furniture, indicating the taste rather than the devotion of 
patrons and artists. These accordingly followed a wider 
latitude of topics and treatment. In proportion as devo- 

After the picture by Snsteriiians, ottce in the Ducal Collection 0/ U rhino, now 
Pitti Gallery, Florence 


tional subjects fell out of use, a demand arose for mytho- 
logical fable and allegory. Profane history, individual 
adventure or portraiture, supplied matter pleasing to 
vanity, profitable to adulation. But while the objects of 
painting became less elevated, its mechanism gained im- 
portance ; it became ostentatious in sentiment, ambitious 
in execution. The aim of professors, the standard of 
connoisseurs, declined from the ideal to the palpable. A 
fresh field for exertion was thus opened up. Schools 
attained celebrity from their successful treatment of tech- 
nical difficulties. Michael Angelo attracted pupils by his 
power in design ; Titian by his mastery in colour ; Cor- 
reggio by his management of light ; while the eclectic 
masters of Bologna vainly aspired to perfection by nicely 
adjusting their borrowed plumes ; and the tenebristi of 
Naples sought, by impenetrable shadows, to startle rather 
than to please. A demand for domestic decoration led 
to further exercise of ingenuity. Landscapes, first im- 
proved by the Venetian masters as accessories, became 
a new province of art ; and transcripts from nature in her 
scenes of beauty were succeeded by the clang of battles, 
the inanities of still life, the orgies or crimes of worthless 
men.*^ In architecture and in sculpture, the departure 
was scarcely less remarkable from the pure style and 
simple forms of the fifteenth century : a free introduction 
of costly materials and elaborate decoration deteriorated 
taste, without compensating for the absence of ideal 
beauty. The masters of this, which we may distinguish as 
the " newest " manner, must accordingly be tried by a new 
standard. Those of the silver and golden ages, Angelico 
and Raffaele, sought a simple or vigorous development of 
deep feeling ; the Giordani and Caravaggii, men of brass 

*^ An undue sense of right seems to have led Dennistoun to the brink of 
an absurd precipice. Why should not the orgy or crime of a worthless man, 
make as good a picture as the orgy or crime [or the good deeds either, for that 
matter] of the worthy man? Poetry surely would seem to confound him 


and iron, whose technical capacity outstripped their ideas' 
aspired not beyond effect. Effect is, therefore, the self- 
chosen test to which artists of the decline should be sub- 
jected, though it may detect in them false taste and vulgar 
deformity. Under their guidance, energy was substituted 
for grandeur, bustle for dramatic action ; while flickering 
lights and fluttering draperies ill replaced the solidity and 
stateliness of earlier men. Art thus, like literature, be- 
came copious rather than captivating. Ambitious attempts 
were not wanting, but the effort to produce them was ever 
palpable. Ingenuity over-taxed gave birth to bewildering 
allegories, affected postures, startling contrasts, exag- 
gerated colouring, meretricious graces. Nature was invoked 
to stand godmother to the progeny, but she disavowed 
them as spurious. 

The rapid decline of art when imitation of nature be- 
came more strictly its object, has led to scepticism in some 
quarters as to the expediency of adopting such a guide. 
Until human ingenuity shall attain the means of embody- 
ing and preserving perfect copies of external objects, it 
would be presumptuous to decide how far such copies 
realise that standard of beauty which high art demands. 
The daguerreotype and kalotype, which give the nearest 
known approach to such a result, are far from solving the 
question in accordance with naturalist views ; for, on their 
metallic plates and porous paper, a beautiful woman is, in 
general, coarsely caricatured ; whilst a bust of her, or a 
bas-relief, always retains the grace of the sculptured 
original, and a chalk drawing is exquisitely reproduced. 
Were it enough to depict with perfect precision the forms 
and incidents reflected on the retina, a painter would be 
little more than a mechanic, in whom original genius might 
be almost dispensed with. But, though he will treasure in 
his portfolios a judicious selection of such impressions as 
he can daily gather from actual life, these, however nearly 
they may approach to nature and truth, are only materials 


of future creations. For high art, — and of such alone 
would we speak whilst Italy is our theme, — something 
more than mere nature was undoubtedly required ; *i yet 
her guidance became indispensable after the revolution in 
taste and feeling which dismissed mediaeval traditions and 
types. So various, however, are the freaks of individual 
fancy, so fantastic the vagaries of reason uncontrolled by 
authority, that the new path was beset by new pitfalls. 
The mediocrity of early masters found a refuge in mean 
but inoffensive common-place ; that of their successors, 
mistaking freedom and novelty for original genius, revelled 
in extravagant creations. The acute agonies, physical and 
moral, which sadly consummated the Atonement for man, 
were figured by the former in limbs wasted as by prolonged 
disease, stiffened as by a lingering death : the deep afflic- 
tion of the Madonna Addolorata over the Saviour's body 
assumed in their hands an expression of such grief as 
knew not the relief of tears. But the artists of the "new 
manner " gave to crucifixions anatomical accuracy de- 
veloped in spasmodic writhings, and bespoke sympathy 
for the mother of Christ by convulsive weepings, with 
perchance the accessory of a pocket-handkerchief! In 
pictures of this class, corporeal sufferings were rendered 
with horrible truth, muscular energy was substituted for 
mental woe. Living in times which needed fresh subjects 
as well as added powers, these painters laid aside such 
themes as treated of the mysteries of faith, the legends of 
primitive times, but especially such as, demanding spiritu- 
alised feelings in the author and the spectators, were 
uncongenial to both. To a contemplative religion, un- 
troubled by sectarian movements, had succeeded a church 
militant, armed by bigotry, and struggling for existence. 
The revived Catholicism of Caraffa and Ghislieri required 
art of a character as gloomy as itself, and commissioned 

*^ Art does not desire more than nature, but more than an imitation of 
nature. The artist should create life, not imitate it. 


works wherein the terrors of the Inquisition replaced the 
promises of the Gospel, earthly martyrdoms supplanted 
celestial hopes, and pure faith was clouded by priestcraft. 
Henceforward, religious representations were reserved 
chiefly for church decorations, and even there they assumed 
an historical character, as in the miracles of our Lord, or 
the acts of his apostles. Alexander VI. had decorated 
the pontifical palace with incidents from the Gospel ; but 
those which Paul III. and his successors selected for the 
Sala Regia commemorate the triumphs of an aggressive 
church in the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, and the naval 
action of Lepanto. Michael Angelo, in depicting the Last 
Judgment, the chief glory of that pontificate, introduced 
Charon as a prominent personage; and, with inconsistency, 
if possible, more glaring, Poussin has painted Moses, the 
type of Christ, watched in infancy by a river-god, in 
classical allusion to his preservation from the perils of the 

Whilst we have thus had to consider the prevalent 
imitation of external objects as an element tending to the 
corruption of purist feeling, it unquestionably enlarged the 
scope and stimulated the mechanism of painting. Such 
was the naturalism by which Raffaele, Michael Angelo, 
and Titian developed the comparatively feeble and stunted 
efforts of their predecessors into forms ennobling nature, 
and redolent of intelligence. But, in studying these pal- 
pable qualities, the more subtle ingredients of spirit and 
feeling were often overlooked ; indeed, most of the creators 
of the new style outlived it, and saw it supplanted by 
a yet newer and far more degrading naturalism, which, 
with few bright intervals, has continued to cramp and 
pervert the manner of their successors. Such were and 
are those painters who, on the strength of their sketches 
from the life, and their studies of landscape and archi- 
tecture, or with the plea of occasionally introducing por- 
traits into sacred or historical compositions, proclaim 


From the picture by Giorgione, once in the Ducnl Collection at U rhino, now in the 

Uffizi Gallery, Florence 


themselves followers of nature, whilst their works outrage 
or caricature her. There may be great anatomical accu- 
racy, and much truth in the separate heads, combined with 
inventions the most unreal, movements the most con- 
strained, mannered attitudes, draperies meagre or over- 
loaded, and a general substitution of mean conceptions 
for pleasing realities. The elaborate finish invariably 
found in the early masters was either bestowed upon 
accessories in themselves trifling, but stamping an extra- 
ordinary verity upon their works, or, as in the Sienese or 
Venetian schools, it was lavished upon gorgeous costumes 
illustrative of national manners. But similar details in 
later pictures are justly considered to remove them in 
some degree from the category of artistic performances to 
that of mere decoration, and are despised by those who, 
aiming at breadth of effect, sometimes adopt the most 
hopeless of all affectations, that of slovenly superficiality. 
Whence then this difference ? and why should jewels and 
embroidery, that seem beautiful in Crivelli's saints or 
Dello's pageants, be vulgar gewgaws on recent canvasses ? 
Merely because, in the former, all is minutely worked, but 
all is subsidiary to the general sentiment, whilst, in the 
latter, the absence of a simply pervading expression 
leaves each individual detail crudely prominent ; because 
the ancient masters made everything subservient to that 
one overruling feeling of the picture, which, in most 
modern works, is totally wanting. 

The Dukes della Rovere of Urbino had hereditary 
duties as patrons of art. Popes Sixtus IV. and Julius II., 
the founders of their family, had munificently encouraged 
it ; the antecedent princes of Montefeltro had been its 
generous and discriminating friends. If the later dynasty 
fell short of these examples, they were not without excuse. 
Though the divine Raffaele parted his mantle among 
many pupils, no shred of it fell to his native duchy. 


Francesco Maria I., on succeeding to that state, found in 
it no lack of churches, palaces, or pictures, and little native 
genius meriting support ; so he was content to call Titian 
from Venice to portray himself and his Duchess.* ^ His 
two successors were less devoted to arms, and more liberal 
to arts. They numbered among their subjects Baroccio 
and the Zuccari, who once more gave a pictorial name to 
Urbino, and they judiciously divided their commissions 
between these natives and foreign painters. 

In a former portion of this work it was our endeavour 
to interweave the artistic notices which we had to offer in 
connection with Urbino, into a rapid sketch of Christian 
painting in Umbria. Resuming the subject, it will no 
longer be possible thus to generalise our views, for the 
time had arrived when each aspirant selected his own 
course to the temple of Fame ; and in glancing at the 
various paths which chance or fancy suggested to them, 
our readers must be prepared for occasional repetitions. 
The ground, in itself less interesting, is more beaten ; and 
though none of the competitors approximated the eleva- 
tion gained by Raffaele, their numbers may be considered 
as some compensation for their comparative mediocrity. 
Lazzari, in his Dictionary of Artists belonging to his native 
duchy, has enumerated, under the Feltrian dukes, five 
painters, one sculptor, one architect, and one military 
engineer; while under the Princes della Rovere, these 
numbers are increased to twenty painters, eight architects, 
and sixteen military engineers. Of sculptors, during the 
latter period, there is no account ; but along with eighteen 
followers of mechanical arts connected with the higher 

*^ Francesco Maria may have called, but Titian did not come to Urbino. 
The first commission he had from the Duke was in 1532, when he was asked to 
paint as good a portrait of Hannibal as he could and a picture of the Nativity. 
They were delivered in 1534. The Duke wanted then a portrait of the 
Duchess, and asked Titian to paint it on his way to Naples. This journey, 
however, never took place. If Titian had any sittings, it was at Murano 
during the Duke and Duchess's so'ourn there in the autumn of 1537. 

After the picture by Falma il I 'ecchio, once in the Ducal Collection at Urhitin 



branches, we find workers in bronze, stucco, wood-carving, 
engravers, and makers of watches and mathematical in- 
struments, besides two potters and three painters of 
majolica. It would be not less irksome than useless to 
follow all this catalogue, but we shall endeavour to throw 
together whatever is generally interesting of art in Urbino, 
during the sixteenth century, whether by native painters, 
or foreigners employed by the dukes ; concluding with a 
chapter on minor arts, especially that of majolica, or 
earthenware, for which the duchy was long celebrated. 

Our catalogue of artists under the della Rovere dynasty 
may be fittingly commenced with a name not unknown to 
their predecessors, the Feltrian dukes. GiROLAMO DELLA 
Genoa was born at Urbino, in 1476, of respectable parents, 
who destined him for the woollen trade, by which the 
wealth of Florence had, in a great measure, been gained. 
But the bent of his youthful mind was decidedly towards 
design, and his pencil so interfered with his proper business, 
that, after much vain opposition, his friends yielded, and 
sent him, at fifteen, to the studio of Luca Signorelli. It 
was the mission of this able painter to engraft upon the 
devotional traditions of Umbrian art, imbibed from Pietro 
della Francesca, a novel energy of thought and pencil ; and 
Girolamo had the advantage of aiding him upon those 
wonderful compositions in the duomo of Orvieto, which 
Michael Angelo scrupled not to imitate in his Last Judg- 
ment, as well as warmly to commend. After attending his 
master during the execution of other commissions, he 
passed into the school of Perugino, where he found his 
precocious countryman, the young Raffaele. There he 
remained for three years, devoting himself chiefly to per- 
spective, and thence repaired to Florence to complete his 
education. At Siena he was largely employed, along with 
Signorelli, by Pandolfo Petrucci ; returning from whence 
to Urbino, he formed an enduring intimacy with Timoteo 


della Vite. They wrought together upon a chapel in the 
cathedral, which no longer exists ; but the works there 
assigned to Genga were chiefly scenic and decorative, from 
his acknowledged superiority in architectural perspective ; 
and for these, the various festive amusements then in 
fashion, such as pastoral dramas, triumphal processions, 
cavalry trappings, and temporary arches, occasioned in 
that gay capital a perpetual demand, during the latter 
days of Guidobaldo I., and the first years of his successor. 
His invention was especially called into play to welcome 
Duchess Leonora to her states, and to supply scenery for 
the representation of Bibbiena's La Calandra in 15 13. 
These apparently mechanical performances were not, how- 
ever, irreconcileable with excellence and fame in the higher 
branches of art ; and it was whilst thus engaged that, 
during a short visit to Rome, he painted, for the oratory of 
Sta. Caterina of Siena in the Via Giulia, an altar-piece of 
the Resurrection, justly considered his chef-d'oeuvre.* ^ 
The figure of Christ, soaring upwards amid sprawling 
angels, somewhat anticipates Raffaele's Transfiguration, 
but with a copious infusion of Michael Angelesque feeling. 
The latter influence predominates in the violent attitudes 
and excited action of the guards, four of whom, suddenly 
aroused by the supernatural event, are rushing about with- 
out aim or self-possession ; yet, the movement of one who 
awakens a still slumbering comrade is extremely natural. 
The Marys, approaching from the other side of the picture, 
recall Timoteo's manner. The colour, concealed however 
under an accumulation of dirt, is of a solid quality, and the 
chiaroscuri are skilfully managed, while the inscription, 
Girolamo Genga Urbinas facieb., satisfactorily secures its 

In 1497, Guidobaldo had granted to the Counts della 
Genga an exemption from taxes, for which Girolamo 

*^ I know nothing of this oratory, and cannot find it. 

After the picture iiy Titian, once in the Ducat Collection, no-.v tn the Pittt Gallery, 




showed his gratitude by sharing the exile of Francesco 
Maria, when deprived by the tyrannical usurpation of Leo 
X. He retired with his family to Cesena, where, as at 
Forll and other places in Romagna, he executed various 
church pictures of merit ; of these, the Baptism of Christ, 
the Conversion of St. Augustine, and one representing the 
Almighty, with the Madonna, and the Doctors of the 
Church, have found their way to the Brera, at Milan. On 
the Duke's restoration, he was appointed his architect and 
engineer, and thereafter discontinued painting, devoting 
hirnself almost entirely to his new duties. Among the 
churches which he built, were those of the Zoccolantines 
at Urbino and Sinigaglia, but it was chiefly on the ducal 
palaces that he was employed. Of these, the first com- 
mitted to him was the Imperiale villa, already mentioned.^ 
Vasari describes it as a " very beautiful and well-contrived 
fabric, full of chambers, colonnades, courts, balconies, 
fountains, and delightful gardens, which every prince pass- 
ing that way goes to see ; and which Paul III. visited, with 
his court, when on his way to Bologna, and was quite 
pleased with all he saw." It would seem from his account 
that the most important ameliorations made by Genga 
upon that long-neglected residence, were the tower and 
internal decorations. The former remains, of handsome 
proportions ; but its chief merit is said, by the Tuscan 
biographer, to have consisted in the management of a 
concealed wooden stair, reaching the summit in thirteen 
flights of steps, one hundred and twenty feet in all. In 
1543, Bembo wrote to Leonora, — "I have visited your 
Excellency's Imperiale with much pleasure, both because 
I greatly wished to see it, and because it seems to me con- 
structed with more intelligence and true artistic science, as 
well as with more antique fashions and finely contrived 
conceits, than any modern building I have seen. I heartily 

^ See p. 49. 


congratulate your Ladyship upon it, for certainly my 
gossip Genga is a great and gifted architect, far surpassing 
all my anticipations." The frescoes, illustrating his em- 
ployer's life, were distributed by him to several foreign 
artificers, the duchy not boasting any painter of talent 
since the recent death of his friend Timoteo Vite. Among 
these was his pupil Francesco Minzocchi of Forli, who, 
living on the limits of the old manner and the new, 
succeeded in uniting many excellences of both ; yet, his 
works at Padua, Venice, Forli, and Loreto, though highly 
creditable, scarcely merit the exaggerated praise bestowed 
on some of them by Vasari. That biographer's oversight, 
and his own modesty, have, on the other hand, done scimp 
justice to Raffaele del Colle, whose attractive pencil is 
scarcely appreciated, notwithstanding Lanzi's eulogy. A 
pupil of the incomparable Sanzio, and of Giulio Romano, 
he preserved a healthy style amid prevailing deterioration ; 
and many of his pictures still adorn the churches of 
Central Italy.^ Contemporary with these was Angelo 
Bronzino, who maintained at Florence, during an age of 
general feebleness, the reputation transmitted by Andrea 
del Sarto and Pontormo. The grace of a Cupid, which he 
painted upon a corbel at the Imperiale, gained for him the 
patronage of Prince Guidobaldo, who employed him in 
small productions more congenial to his genius, including 
his portrait, and a harpsichord cover, both of them greatly 
admired, but now lost. The landscape ornaments in the 
villa were entrusted to the brothers Dossi, of Ferrara, or 
rather perhaps to Giovanbattista, the younger, and less 
able of them ; but so total was their failure, that they were 

^ He left some valuable works in the upper valley of the Metauro, now 
almost destroyed. Such are his Prophets and Sybils in ten lunettes round 
the Corpus Domini at Urbania, with two Nativities in the same church, one 
in fresco, the other on canvas. An altar-piece, in the church of the Servites 
at S. Angelo in Vado, is very inferior to his Madonna and Saints in S. 
Francesco of Cagli. Some frescoes at Gubbio, lauded by Lanzi, and dated 
1546, are among his best works. 


immediately thrown down, and replaced by others from 
Genga's designs. More successful in that light style were 
the portions committed to Camillo of Mantua, whose rural 
decorations are praised by Vasari and Lanzi. 

We have thus far chiefly followed Vasari's authority, 
reconciling, as best we might, inconsistencies and errors, 
the result of his imperfect acquaintance with the locality. 
The paintings he describes at the Imperiale were probably 
part of Duchess Leonora's labour of love, to welcome 
her lord's return from his long campaigns. But the con- 
dition to which they are reduced, by time and unworthy 
degradation of the building, renders it impossible now to 
form an opinion of the various hands that have wrought 
upon them, or to discover their respective merits and 
subjects. The roofs of two saloons are occupied by small 
historical compositions, from the actions of Francesco 
Maria ; but these are irrecoverably defaced. Two of them, 
ascribed to Bronzino, are said to have represented the 
Duke haranguing the band of adventurers whom he col- 
lected in Lombardy, for the invasion of his duchy in 15175 
and his reception by the Venetian senate in 1523, as their 
captain-general. The ornaments of the remaining rooms 
are merely decorative. 

Additions were made by Francesco Maria to his other 
residences at Urbino, Pesaro, and Castel Durante ; on 
all of which, and Gradara, Genga seems to have been 
employed. Him also he entrusted to build a casino, 
within the walls of Pesaro, called the Barchetto, in which 
a ruin was imitated, with a spiral stair commended by 
Vasari : this house was subsequently assigned by Duke 
Guidobaldo to Bernardo Tasso, as a home to himself and 
his son Torquato ; and part of it is now occupied by a 
gardener. Another work of Girolamo was the reparation 
of the fortress at Pesaro, which, however, he undertook 
merely in obedience to his sovereign, military architecture 
being little to his taste. In acknowledgment of these 


services, he had, in 1528, a grant of Castel d' Elce, with its 
feudal immunities, afterwards confirmed by Guidobaldo II. 
Some years later, he remodelled the episcopal palace at 
Mantua, and began an imposing church to St. John the 
Baptist at Pesaro, which was completed by his son. 
Among his minor efforts in the immediate service of the 
ducal family may be mentioned funeral decorations for 
Francesco Maria, and a monument to him, erected by 
Bartolomeo Ammanati of Florence, in Sta. Chiara of 
Urbino, but long ago removed. Enriched and honoured, 
he spent his declining years in leisure, and died in 1551. 
Vasari thus testifies to his exemplary character: — "Giro- 
lamo was an excellent and honest man, of whom no evil 
was ever heard. He was not only a painter, sculptor, and 
architect, but also a good musician, an excellent and 
most amusing talker, and was full of courtesy and affection 
to his relations and friends." Among his numerous pupils, 
Baldassare Lancia, of Urbino, was distinguished as a 
military engineer, whilst Bartolomeo his second son, 
Bellucci of San Marino his son-in-law, and Federigo 
Baroccio his nephew, all ably maintained his artistic 
reputation. In the person of Leo XIL, one of his family 
has recently attained the highest station offered to the 
ambition of the Roman Catholic world. 

Bartolomeo della Genoa was born at Cesena in 
1 5 18, during his father Girolamo's emigration, and was 
sent to Florence at eighteen to study design in its various 
branches, under Vasari and Ammanati. At twenty-one 
he returned to his father, who, seeing his talent lie towards 
architecture, advised him to acquaint himself at Rome 
with the best models. His first commission on return- 
ing home was to prepare festive arches for Duchess 
Vittoria's reception after her marriage. He then accom- 
panied Guidobaldo to Lombardy, as his military engineer, 
and, by examining the celebrated fortresses in that country, 

After the banner J>ait:t< 

d by Titian for ihc Cotiipagnia tii Corpjis Do 
Pinacotcca, Urbino 

ini, noiv in the 



added greatly to his professional experience. He at this 
time refused very eligible appointments from the King of 
Bohemia, and subsequently from Genoa, wishing to dedi- 
cate his services to his own sovereign. Accordingly, on 
his father's death, he became ducal architect, and built 
large additions to the palaces of Urbino and Pesaro, 
especially the wing of the former, facing S. Domenico. 
He also erected a number of churches in the duchy, and 
prepared plans for a harbour at Pesaro, which were not 
carried into effect. Having attended the Duke to Rome 
in 1553, he gave some hints to Julius IH. for the new 
fortifications of Borgo S. Spirito. 

His reputation being thus established, the Order of 
Malta selected him to superintend the new defences pro- 
posed for their island, and in 1557 sent two knights on a 
mission to obtain the Duke of Urbino's sanction of 
Genga's engagement. During two months Guidobaldo 
resisted all importunities, and they at length succeeded 
only through a Capuchin friar, who, possessing his ear, 
represented the work as one in which all Christendom 
was interested. On Bartolomeo's arrival, he had but time 
to prepare a series of plans for civil and military archi- 
tecture, when he was cut off by fever consequent upon 
exposure in the burning heat, having scarcely completed his 
fortieth year. Of this family also was SiMONE Genga, 
who, after fortifying many Tuscan strongholds, carried his 
engineering talents to Gratz, in Austria. From Stephen, 
King of Poland, he had, in 1587, a monthly salary of 
']6 dollars, besides allowances for four servants and as 
many horses, whilst completing the defences of Varadino. 
Other architects of Urbino are mentioned by the Marchese 
Ricci as leaving structures in La Marca, such as Lat- 
TANZIO Venturi, who, in 1 58 1, built the communal 
palace at Macerata, with an allowance of 30 scudi for his 
plan, and 40 more for overseeing its execution. Six years 
later, he completed the fagade of Loreto church, in the 

III. — 2 A 



charge of which he was succeeded by his son Venturo. 
His countryman, LUDOVICO Carducci, having accom- 
panied him to Macerata, was employed on various 
ecclesiastical edifices there, his designs for which were 
submitted for approval to the Duke of Urbino. From 
Venturo Venturi the superintendence of Loreto devolved, 
about 1614, upon GiOVANNi BRANCA, of S. Angelo in 
Vado, who died there in 1645, aged seventy-four. His 
Manual of Architecture had passed through six editions 
previous to the present century. 


Taddeo Zuccaro — Federigo Zuccaro — Their pupils — Federigo Baroccio and 
his pupils — Claudio Ridolfi — Painters of Gubbio. 

IT was just after the fatal sack of Rome had dis- 
persed the goodly company of painters, who, reared 
by Raffaele, and linked together by the recollection 
of his genius and his winning qualities, gave 
promise of long maintaining in the Christian capital that 
manner which he had brought to perfection, — that there 
was born to Ottaviano Zuccaro, or Zucchero, an in- 
different artist of S. Angelo in Vado, a son destined to 
revive the pictorial reputation of Urbino. Taddeo 
Zuccaro saw the light in 1529, and, while yet a boy, 
perceiving little hope of excellence under such instruction 
as Umbria could then afford, or of remedying the poverty 
of his paternal fireside, he boldly sought a wider field of 
improvement and enterprise, and at fourteen found his 
way to Rome. The hardships which he there underwent 
are touchingly described by Vasari. Aided by no friendly 
hand, his education was neglected, and he was driven to 
menial labour for the support of a precarious existence. 
Wandering from one studio to another, he earned a crust 
of bread by colour-grinding ; and, unable to afford light 
for his evening studies, he spent the moonlight nights in 
drawing, till sleep surprised him beneath some portico. 
Under this hard life his health gave way, whilst his spirit 
remained indomitable, and he sought rest and renewed 
vigour in his native mountain air. But his thirst for 
improvement was not stayed by these sufferings. On his 



return to Rome with recruited energies, he was received 
into the studio of Jacopone Bertucci of Faenza, a follower 
of Raffaele, whose few independent works entitle him to 
more honourable mention than has been afforded him by 
Vasari or Lanzi, and who united the tasteful design of 
that master with somewhat of Lombard feeling. Taddeo 
subsequently aided one Daniello di For, who carried to 
Rome much of the Parmese manner, imitating Correggio 
and Parmegianino. At eighteen he executed on his own 
account, on the exterior of the Mattei Palace, a series of 
nine events in the life of Camillus, which attracted general 
admiration, and established his popularity as a historical 
painter. These, and several other works in fresco done 
soon after, have been destroyed. 

His rising reputation having reached Urbino, Guido- 
baldo n. summoned him there, when about fifteen, to 
undertake the exterior decorations of a chapel in the 
cathedral, which had been painted by Battista Franco, 
and soon after carried him on his tour of inspection of the 
Venetian terra-firma fortresses. On his return, he was 
established in the palace at Pesaro, where he painted the 
Duke's portrait and some other cabinet pictures. Two 
years thus passed away without his being able to commence 
the chapel, although the designs for it were well advanced ; 
and being dissatisfied with this loss of time, he availed 
himself of his sovereign's absence at Rome to follow him 
thither. Orders now crowded upon him, for no contempo- 
rary painter was better qualified to supply those slight 
and rapidly executed works then in fashion for the 
external and internal decoration of Roman palaces and 
villas. Most of these have perished ; but somewhat 
superior in character were the incidents in the Passion, 
painted in 1556, in the Church of Consolation under the 
Capitol. They are still in good preservation, but though 
cleverly conceived and carefully executed, these merits 
scarcely compensate for the exaggerated mannerism of 


their sprawling attitudes and solid draperies, whilst their 
violent emotions are anything but devotional. From this 
time his brother Federigo was associated in most of his 
labours, and the speed with which their commissions were 
finished brought them easy gains, and gave satisfaction in 
an age when taste had sadly degenerated. An arrange- 
ment, whereby Taddeo agreed to accompany the Duke of 
Guise to France, with a salary of 600 scudi, was interrupted 
by the Duke's death ; but soon after our artist had a more 
important commission, from Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, 
to paint in his palace of Caprarola, near Viterbo, the heroic 
actions of his family. This was precisely the class of 
subject for which the manner and ideas of the Zuccari 
were most adapted, and the results were highly satis- 
factory. Accordingly, these paintings, engraved by 
Prenner in 1748, remain a standard of that style of palatial 
decoration. Taddeo's allowance was 200 scudi a year, for 
which he undertook to prepare all the cartoons, and to 
superintend their execution by his brother and other 
young artists. Among those whom he was thus enabled to 
bring forward, several, including Baroccio, were his seniors, 
a natural consequence of the good fortune which brought 
him early into repute as a clever head-master of the con- 
tract work then in vogue. His mural paintings in the 
Sala Regia of the Vatican, and his sacred subjects in the 
chapel of S. Marcello there, were also undertakings of 
considerable extent, sharing his attention with Caprarola 
during the latter years of his life. His last work was the 
Assumption of the Madonna in the Trinita del Monte, 
upon which death surprised him in 1566, and his dust 
reposes in the Pantheon, near that of his more illustrious 
countryman Raffaele, like whom, he died on the day his 
thirty-seventh year was completed. 

His brother Federigo, fourteen years his junior, was 
brought to Rome in 1550, and committed to his charge. 
The advantage of an associate on whom he could rely was 


immense to one whose works were, even from youth, in a 
great measure, executed by others ; and fraternal affection, 
cemented by a similarity of tastes and pursuits, grew up 
into an identity of character and habits which extended 
to their respective works, and enabled the younger Zuccaro 
satisfactorily to terminate the commissions which Taddeo 
left unfinished. Precocity was a characteristic of both ; 
and the only interruption to their harmony arose from the 
latter having retouched some frescoes done by Federigo, 
when but eighteen years old, outside of a house in Rome. 
The quarrel having become serious, a compromise was 
effected by mutual friends, on an imderstanding that the 
designs, but not the finished works of the youth, should 
be submitted to his brother's correction. During his resi- 
dence in Rome, Federigo was, however, chiefly employed 
on those mural paintings which we have already mentioned 
as undertaken by Taddeo ; and when about twenty-two, 
he spent a considerable time in Venice, painting, on his 
own account, in the Grimani Palace, whilst his contempo- 
raries were still busy with their preliminary studies. There 
was even a proposal to assign to him the facade of the 
great council hall, but jealousy among the native artists 
prevented this taking effect. He was, however, consoled 
by the friendship of Palladio, who engaged him to decorate 
a large temporary theatre, and whom he subsequently! 
accompanied on a tour through Friuli and Lombardy. 
Thence he visited Florence, in time to take part in the 
festive decorations which welcomed Joanna of Austria to 
her new capital, and, after a visit to his family, arrived at 
Rome early in 1566. It was about this time he painted 
for Duke Guidobaldo the Liberation of St. Peter from 
prison, now in the Pitti Gallery, a picture of no great : 
intrinsic merit, though dexterous in effect ; and now, too, 
Verdizotti of Venice complimented his early promise in, 
this elegant sonnet, wherein the "tree of Jove" means the' 
oak, the badge of Urbino and its dukes. 


" Ecco ! del glorioso arbor di Giove 
Un giovinetto ramo uscir si altero, 
Ch' a speme di bei frutti ogni pensiero 
Desta al fiorir de le sue frondi nove. 

" In lui tai gratia il ciel benigno piove, 
Che simili in altrui poch' altre spero ; 
Gratie, per cui virtu gli apre il sentiero 
Ad ogni honoi-, che meraviglia move. 

" E gik le cime dei piu culti allori 

V inchinan' grate, e lieto augurio danno 
D' eterno pregio ai suoi giorni migliori. 

" Alhor 1' amate ghiande illustri andranno 
Di si fin or, ch' al par de' suoi splendor! 
Gli alti raggi del sole ombre saranno." 

His brother's premature death made him heir of his fame 
and fortune : the latter he speedily increased, but the 
former he was scarcely adequate to sustain. Yet the dex- 
terity by which he mastered, and the rapidity wherewith, 
by numerous assistants, he completed works of great 
extent, not only obtained him the commissions which 
Taddeo left imperfect, but secured him a preference for all 
undertakings of that description in Rome. It was upon 
this principle that he was called to Florence, to terminate 
the cupola of the cathedral ; yet for the abortive effect of 
this vast composition, which has more than once narrowly 
escaped whitewash, Federigo is scarcely to be held respon- 
sible. The irretrievably hopeless attempt of filling suitably 
so immense an expanse with a figure composition, had 
been begun by a better artist than himself, and the blame 
of so gross a blunder must lie with Vasari, Don Vincenzo 
Borghini suggested the theme — Paradise allegorically 
treated in eight compartments, in seven of which are set 
forth the seven mysteries of our Lord's passion, while the 
eighth celebrates the triumph of the Romish church. The 
chief interest of this colossal performance lies in its 
monstrous compass ; containing, it is said, three hundred 
figures, some of them thirty feet high. Returned to Rome, 


he was employed by Gregory XIII. on the roof of the 
Pauline chapel, whose walls had been decorated by 
Michael Angelo. The favours which fortune thus showered 
upon him soothed not the petulance of an irritable temper; 
and the bitter satire wherewith he caricatured some 
supposed enemies in a picture of Calumny, obliged him 
precipitately to quit the Holy City. This was a congenial 
subject, which he often treated. Once it was done for the 
Orsini of Bracciano; another of large size is noted in 
Pelli's catalogue of the Urbino pictures ; and there is a 
small one in the gallery of the Ufifizii. There are some 
curious particulars in Gaye's Carteggio of the annoyance 
to which this sally subjected him.^ In 1 581, he was held 
to bail for 500 scudi, to answer a charge of slander which 
it was hoped might be founded upon the testimony of his 
three assistants, who were imprisoned until they should 
supply a key to the suspected personalities. On this 
emergency he sought protection from the influence of his 
sovereign, and of the Grand Duke Francesco I. of Florence, 
by whose mediation he made his peace, and returned to 
Rome at Easter 1583. The Duke of Urbino's application 
was not disinterested, being anxious to secure Federigo's 
services for a chapel he was then building at Loreto, dedi- 
cated to the Madonna dell' Annunziata, regarding his 
frescoes in which we shall presently have some observa- 
tions to offer. It is unnecessary to follow his several 
journeys to foreign courts and distant countries, whence 
he returned honoured and enriched. In 1574, after his 
flight from Rome, he passed through Paris, Flanders, and 
Holland, to England, where he probably remained for 
some time, painting portraits ; but his works there do not 
seem to have been ascertained, or examined with much 
criticism. Several are loosely mentioned by Walpole, and 
his annotator Dalloway, one of which, representing Queen 
Elizabeth's gigantic porter, is said by Stirling to bear date 

1 Vol. III., p. 444. 


1580. His chalk drawings of her and Leicester, engraved 
by Rogers, can scarcely be the same mentioned by Borg- 
hini as executed in 1575. 

On his return to Rome, Olivarez, ambassador from 
Philip II., whose overtures to Paul Veronese had been 
unsuccessful, proposed that he should proceed to Madrid. 
There he arrived in January, 1586, and, after being re- 
ceived with great splendour, was immediately named 
king's painter, with 2000 dollars of pension, and an 
apartment in the Escurial. From that palace he, on 
the 29th of May, wrote a letter descriptive of his first 
works, which merits notice as showing his opinion, and 
that of the age, on the fitting tone and treatment to be 
followed in high religious art. " My apartment contains 
excellent rooms, besides saloon and study, where his 
Majesty frequently deigns to come and see me work, 
loading me with favours. I observe you desire now to 
hear something as to what I have done or am about. 
There are four large pictures, for two altars of the relics, 
opening and closing like organ-doors, to be painted on 
both sides. They are dedicated to the Annunciation 
and to St. Jerome ; and I have treated them thus : — On 
opening the former is seen our Lady, somewhat startled 
and confused by the angel's entrance, while on the outer 
side I have made her assenting to the salutation in the 
words, ' Behold the handmaid of the Lord.' The exterior 
of St. Jerome is penitent ; not as he is usually made, simply 
repenting, but having that faith and hope in God without 
which neither abstinence nor remorse can avail, together 
with the love, charity, and filial awe, that ought ever to 
connect us with God and our neighbour. And these 
I fancy as grouped together in idea before the saint ; so I 
have set in front of him a cross, with Christ in the last 
agony, in order to inspire him with increased contrition, 
and at the foot thereof the three theological virtues among 
clouds. On the interior of the two doors, I have depicted 


St. Jerome, as a doctor of the church, writing : and as 
companion to the idealised penitence without, I thought 
fit to introduce the means and aims of study, so that the 
saint, though writing, is in a contemplative ecstasy, 
attended by three angels. Two of them, typifying per- 
severance and love of study (without which no science 
can be learned, no fruit obtained), hold his book and ink- 
horn ; the third stands at his ear, suggesting thoughts and 
sentences, and pointing out, on the other door, the entire 
subject he is writing about : I intended this one for the 
guardian angel, or for that intelligence and thought, 
whereby all is contrived and composed ; and I en- 
deavoured to represent him as incorporeal, transparent, 
and spiritual, a style little used on account of its difficulty. 
On that other door, I embodied the whole theme which 
St. Jerome, the most holy divine and doctor, is inditing, 
as to the Saviour's passion and man's redemption, dwell- 
ing specially on the considerations that induced the Father 
Almighty to send his only begotten Son into the world, 
to redeem mankind by his great sufferings. I imagine 
Charity as appearing in his vision, and saying ' It was I 
who moved God, and made Christ descend on earth ' ; to 
express which symbolically, a saint-like matron presses 
one hand on her breast, and indicates with the other a dead 
Christ borne by angels through the air. But what most 
pleases his Majesty and all beholders, being of peculiar 
mystic meaning and charming effect, is the three little 
Cupids who, at the feet of Charity, disport themselves 
with St. Jerome's lion, which comes forward most oppor- 
tunely, his ferocity so tamed by these children, that 
he lets them pat, handle, and ride upon him, licking and 
fondling them the while, a clear proof that our God is not 
a God of anger and vengeance, but of love, peace, charity, 
and grace. During this winter I made all the designs 
and cartoons for these subjects, and have already coloured 
and entirely completed the first Annunciation, and the 


St. Jerome writing ; at present I have in hand the 
Charity ; and all, thank God, is to his Majesty's taste. 
This done, his Majesty wishes me to commence the reta- 
vola of the high altar [for the Escurial], where there will 
be eight great pictures in oil, those others being on 
panel." ^ 

In this second commission our painter was less fortunate. 
The eight pieces represented St. Laurence's Martyrdom, 
five events in the life of Christ, the Descent of Tongues, 
and the Assumption. As they rapidly advanced, aided by 
several youths who had accompanied Federigo from Italy, 
he observed with anxiety the courtiers' cold or con- 
temptuous silence ; and, desiring to test his patron's feel- 
ings, he presented the Nativity to Philip with the arrogant 
exclamation, " Here, Sire, is all that painting can accom- 
plish, a picture that may be viewed closely or from a 
distance." After long gazing on the canvas, his Majesty 
asked if those things in the basket were meant for eggs. 
So paltry a criticism says little for the monarch's con- 
noisseurship, and the mortified artist was consoled by 
seeing his work placed on its destined altar. Mr. Stirling 
informs us that, upon this failure, he was set to paint six 
frescoes in the Escurial cloister, which gave as little 
satisfaction. In order to test his complaints of his 
assistants, he was then desired to execute the Conception 
without their aid, but with no better result. After his 
departure, several portions of his retavola were dismissed 
from the high altar, and most of his frescoes were defaced ; 
but notwithstanding these repeated disgusts, and the 
moderate success of two other altar-pieces mentioned by 
Conca, Zuccaro remained for nearly three years in Spain, 
and was finally dismissed with gifts and pensions exceed- 
ing the remuneration stipulated for his services. The 
solution of his disappointment is simple. The artistic 

1 Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 8i6, f. 64-72. 



genius of Italy was greatly exhausted : that of Spain 
was a virgin soil promising many golden harvests.^ 

Some letters of Federigo Zuccaro in the Oliveriana 
Library further illustrate the turn of thought which 
influenced religious art in the end of the sixteenth 
century. He had been employed in 1583 by Francesco 
Maria II. to decorate a chapel in the church of Loreto ; it 
was dedicated to the Madonna, and the theme prescribed 
for his frescoes was her life. The altar-picture by Baroccio 
represented the Annunciation ; and the scenes selected for 
mural paintings were her marriage, visitation, death, 
assumption, and coronation. Of these the first three 
belonged to a class of dramatic compositions adapted to 
the prevailing taste, while the others partook of the 
Umbrian influence which still lingered around that shrine. 
The subsidiary ornaments being of course under the 
direction of Zuccaro, he felt puzzled how to fill up certain 
spaces offered by the architectural arrangement, and wrote 
to the Duke. After consulting the chief theological 
authorities among the hierarchy of Loreto what would 
best develop the "humble and mystic" sentiment which 
it was his object to sustain, the artist suggested that 
figures emblematic of glory and perpetuity should support 
the Coronation of the Madonna, as expressing the 
inherent attributes of that subject. In like manner he 
proposed to accompany her Death with Faith, Hope, and 
the Fear of God, the best supports of a death-bed ; whilst 
the Assumption was to have Charity on one hand, Perse- 
verance on the other, and above Joy, the fruit of these 
virtues and the foretaste of glory. As accompaniments 
for the Annunciation, he submitted that there should be 
two prophets or sibyls, the instruments through whom the 
incarnation of the Word was predicted. Giotto or Era 

^ In referring to the Annals of the Artists of Spain, it is a sincere pleasure 
to bear my feeble testimony to the merits of that excellent work. It is replete 
with information new to the English reader, and is enriched by apt and 
copious illustrations selected from a wide range of literature and aesthetics. 


Angelico would have chosen the prophets of the Old 
Testament ; Michael Angelo would have preferred pagan 
sibyls ; Perugino or Raffaele might have invoked them 
both ; Zuccaro, painting at Loreto, thought either equally 
appropriate appendages to his allegorical creations.^ Yet 
Federigo was not altogether blinded to the barbarous 
tendency of the taste around him. In writing of Milan^ 
he says that the painters there had in his day " wofully 
diverged from the beautiful simplicity and arrangement of 
those living early in the century; and that the Proccaccini, 
especially Giulio Cesare, introduced a set of scoffing heads, 
and certain angels so debauched looking, and devoid of all 
reverence in the presence of God and the Madonna, that I 
know not how they are tolerated, unless it be that they 
are excused for the sake of many other commendable 
parts." 2 

Of the large number of important works he executed in 
Venice, Milan, Pavia, Turin, and other towns of Upper 
Italy, we shall not attempt a catalogue, nor of his many 
frescoes in the Roman palaces and churches. We cannot, 
however, pass by an altar-picture still in the Church of 
Sta. Caterina in his native town, which was carried to 
Paris by the French plunderers. It represents Peter, 
Francis, and other saints, presenting to the Madonna the 
Zuccaro family, consisting of two men, a woman, and 
seven children — probably Taddeo, himself, his wife and 
offspring ; and it is inscribed "Federigo Zuccaro dedicates 
this monument of his affection to the intercessors of his 
family and birthplace, 1603." Besides the interest attach- 
ing to the portraits, it is a satisfactory specimen of his 
usual manner. A work of his brother, connected with the 

^ In reference to appropriate lights, Baroccio entirely condemns the use of 
stained glass, as darkening the interior, and injuring, by coloured rays, the 
effect of paintings. Zuccaro, however, recommends the introduction of a 
tinted armorial bearing, surrounded by a wreath of fruits and flowers, as likely 
to mellow without obscuring the chapel. 

'^ Lettere Pittoriche, vii., p. 513- 


history of the duchy, has been described in a previous 

Academical instruction is considered as favourable only 
to mediocrity by many who maintain that genius must be 
cramped by the fetters of uncongenial routine, or by the 
prescribed duties of a conventional curriculum. The 
Academy of St. Luke was, however, founded under 
Gregory XIII., and Federigo Zuccaro was, in 1593, elected 
its first president, an honour appreciated far beyond the 
favour of princes or the decoration of knighthood. After 
inauguration, he was conducted by a crowd of artists to 
the palace he had built for himself on the Pincian Hill, at 
that corner otherwise consecrated by the residences of 
Claude, Salvator Rosa, and Nicolo Poussin. Here he 
afterwards held meetings of the Academy, where he read 
his discourses ; and by will he left to it that house, failing 
of his natural heirs. His death occurred in 1608, at 
Ancona, at the age of sixty-six ; but the clause of re- 
mainder in favour of the Academy has never become 
effectual, the palace in the Via Sistina being still possessed 
by his descendants. It is well known as the Casa Bertoldy, 
and may be regarded as the cradle of the modern German 
school of painting. The frescoes on which Overbeck, Cor- 
nelius, Schnorr, and Veit first essayed that elevated and 
pure style which has regenerated European taste, there 
attract many an admirer, little aware that the basement 
rooms, abandoned to menial uses, contain some of the 
latest efforts of cinque-cento decoration that have fair 
pretensions to merit. The richest of them has its vaulted 
roof studded with allegorical delineations of the arts, 
sciences, and virtues, painting being justly pre-eminent in 
a painter's house. The lunettes of another are crowded 
by portraits of the Zuccari, extending over four genera- 
tions, and numbering twenty-one heads, true to nature. 
The third, which was Federigo's nuptial chamber, exhibits 

1 Vol. II. 


the ceremony of his marriage, around which are figures of 
Chastity, Continence, Concord, and Felicity, in the fashion 
of an age when genius had been replaced by ingenuity, 
grandeur by dexterous execution. 

The infirmity of Federigo's temper, to which we have 
already alluded, may account for his unworthy treatment 
of Vasari. In the marginal notes upon his copy of the 
Vite de' Pittori, now in the Royal Library at Paris, as 
well as in an original work which we are about to mention, 
he takes every opportunity of sneering ungenerously at 
one whose biography of his brother, and whose allusions 
to himself are conceived in kind and flattering terms. 
Although his Idea de' Pittori, Scultori, ed Architetti, 
printed in the year of his death, is supposed to be but a 
compend of his lectures at St. Luke's, he is believed to 
have intended it as a triumph over Vasari's justly popular 
writings. In this, however, he signally failed ; it has the 
mysticism of philosophy without its spirit, while its 
pedantic subtleties are puerile rather than profound. This, 
and his Lamento della Pittura, are books of great rarity, 
but in no way merit a reprint. A mannerist with pen 
and pencil, the conceits of the former equal the allegories 
of the latter ; nature and feeling are alien to both. 

Although the Zuccari were little identified by their 
works with their native state, and obtained less of the 
ducal patronage than their contemporary Baroccio, their 
names have reflected much lustre upon Urbino. Yet 
the space which they occupied in the public view was 
owing to the smiles of propitious fortune, — to a happy 
facility of executing without exertion whatever com- 
missions were offered, — to a certain magnificence and 
liberality in their manner of life, — and, in the case of 
Federigo, to an overweening vanity, rather than to any 
positive artistic excellence. Their reputation has accord- 
ingly waned, as the remembrance of such incidental 
qualities waxed faint, and as a distant posterity applied 


to them that only sure test, the merit of their works. 
Nor were these the only advantages of their position. 
An analogy has been deduced between Taddeo and the 
immortal Raffaele, not from any supposed resemblance 
of their pencils or genius, but because both were natives 
of the same state, both painted extensively in fresco at 
Rome, both died when "exactly thirty-seven," and both 
were buried in the same corner of the Pantheon. 
Federigo, on the other hand, was, like Titian, invited 
to courts, decorated and enriched by monarchs ; like 
Raffaele and Michael Angelo, he was an architect and 
a sculptor as well as a painter ; like Vasari, he aimed at 
a literary reputation. The works of the brothers dis- 
play a marked similarity, a natural result of their long 
painting together ; yet deterioration became perceptible 
as their distance from the golden age increased, and the 
younger may be distinguished by a pervading inferiority 
of taste and design, but especially by a growing man- 
nerism and laxity in his conceptions, and by the over- 
crowding of his subjects. To balance these deficiencies, 
his person was attractive, his general attainments were 
far more comprehensive, and a longer life was granted 
for the enjoyment of his fortune and the extension of his 
fame, than fell to the lot of Taddeo. The failing mainly 
attributable to both was absence of style. Their inven- 
tions were often flimsy, and their compositions, deficient in 
unity and dignity, are often little more than figure groups. 

A necessary consequence of the low style of art which 
the Zuccari adopted was that, notwithstanding the number 
of assistants whom they constantly employed, their school 
neither attained to considerable repute among their con- 
temporaries, nor put forth many pupils of note ; offering 
in this respect a marked contrast to that of their country- 
man Baroccio, whose pleasing manner attracted a host of 
admirers and imitators. Two natives of Pesaro, however. 


possess a certain reputation in the semi-mechanical church 
decorations then largely produced. They were Nicolo 
Trometta, generally called NicOLO DA Pesaro, and 
GiAN GlACOMO Pandolfi, the latter of whom was the 
earliest instructor of Simon Cantarini da Pesaro. The 
various works which these and other Zuccaristi have left 
in the duchy are quite unworthy of special description, and 
we may dismiss them with the mention of Cavaliere 
DoMENico Cresti DA Passignano, whose chief title to 
fame is reflected from that of his pupils TiARlNI and 
LUDOVICO Caracci. Among the painters less known 
to fame were BiAGio and Girolamo d' Urbino, both of 
whom were employed in the Escurial ; the former left Spain 
along with Federigo Zuccaro, in 1588 ; the latter wrought 
under Pelegrino Tibaldi. Ottovevenius, after spending seven 
years with Federigo, carried his influence beyond the Alps, 
and eventually numbered Rubens among his scholars. 

Among the artists who repaired to Urbino at the sum- 
mons of Duke Federigo, for the construction of his palace, 
was Ambrogio Barocci, or Baroccio, a Milanese sculptor, 
who established himself there, and, after long labouring on 
its plastic decorations, founded a family singularly dis- 
tinguished in the higher branches of mechanical and 
pictorial art. His two daughters were married to Girolamo 
and Nicolo della Genga, and his great-grandson Federigo, 
upon whose biography we must dwell at some length, had 
an elder brother Simone, who after studying the exact 
sciences under Federigo Comandino, became the best 
mathematical instrument maker that had hitherto been 
seen. His cousins, the Cavaliere Giovanni Battista and 
Giovanni Maria, were not less famous in watchmaking, an 
art successfully patronised by the Dukes delle Rovere, 
which we shall mention in our fifty-fifth chapter. FEDE- 
RIGO Baroccio was born in 1528, and initiated into the 
rudiments of design by his father, who practised engraving 
and modelling. His early efforts having been approved 

III. — 2 B 


by his grand-uncle Giralomo Genga, he was placed under 
the tuition of Battista Franco of Venice, an indifferent 
painter, much employed in the majolica shops at Urbino, 
whose taste for designing from antique sculpture directed 
his pupil's attention to those effects of chiaroscuro which 
distinguished his matured style. After assiduous labours 
in this way, he repaired to Pesaro, then his sovereigns' 
residence, where were placed their accumulated treasures 
of art. There he observed the works of Raffaele and 
Titian, under the guidance of Genga, who carefully ad- 
vanced his artistic education, especially in perspective. At 
twenty he went to Rome, anxious to see the triumphs of 
his great countryman, which he forthwith set himself to 
study. Several anecdotes are told of his modesty, which 
kept him in the background until chance obtained for his 
drawings a passing compliment from Michael Angelo, and 
the warm sympathy and encouragement of Giovanni da 
Udine, delighted to find in the youth a countryman as 
well as an admirer of his former master. After imbibing 
inspiration from these healthful fountains, he returned 
home, and executed some church paintings. But the 
casual arrival of one who brought some cartoons and 
crayon drawings from Parma gave a new turn to his ideas. 
Forgetting the grandeur of Buonarrotti and the pure 
beauty of Raffaele, he aimed at those meretricious graces 
which have borrowed from the dexterity of Parmegianino, 
and the luscious pencil of Correggio, a fascination unsup- 
ported by their intrinsic merits, and pregnant with mis- 
chief to art. To him, however, belongs the credit of intro- 
ducing into Lower Italy a harmonious application of light 
and shade, to which his early lamp studies from sculpture 
may have conduced. 

Returning to Rome in 1560, he found Federigo Zuccaro 
in the ascendant, and from him received a hint as to the 
tendency of this manner, which it would have been well 
that he had adopted. Having, at the request of Federigo, 



painted two children on a frieze, with a fusion of colour 
very rarely effected in fresco, the latter, considering this to 
be overdone, retraced the outlines with a brush, imparting 
to them that force which was wanting to the work. 
Baroccio took the reproof in good part, but profited not 
by it. During his first visit he had become known to 
Cardinal Giulio della Rovere, by whose influence, prob- 
ably, he procured employment at the Vatican and Bel- 
videre, in company with Zuccaro. With the decline of 
their art, the good feeling of the painters' fraternity 
waned, and the kindly sympathies of that glorious band, 
whom Raffaele had imbued with a portion of his amiable 
nature, no longer animated their successors. Those who 
saw in Baroccio one who would have raised the standard 
of taste from the abandonment which immediately suc- 
ceeded the dispersion of that noble school, instead of 
seconding his efforts poisoned him at a banquet. He 
survived the potion, but four years of pain and feeble 
health elapsed ere he could return to his labours. When 
his system had in some degree resumed its vigour among 
his mountain breezes, he was called to Perugia to paint for 
its cathedral the Deposition from the Cross, a work which, 
far from exhibiting any prostration of power, greatly sur- 
passed his previous efforts. No scriptural theme offers 
greater technical difficulties, or demands a larger share of 
those grand and energetic qualities in which Baroccio was 
usually deficient. It is, therefore, one of his most remark- 
able efforts, as regards its own qualities, and the circum- 
stances under which it was produced. It occupied him 
during three years, and was followed by the Absolution of 
St. Francis, for the Franciscans of Urbino, on which he 
laboured in their convent for above twice that period. In 
consideration of their poverty, he charged but a hundred 
golden scudi for the work, to which they gratefully added 
as many florins. 

It is not our intention to give a catalogue of even his 


more important productions, although a large proportion 
of them were executed for the decoration of his native 
state, which his patriotism induced him to prefer to the 
splendid offers made him by foreign monarchs. Among 
those commissioned by his sovereign was the Calling of 
St. Andrew, finished in 1584, and presented to Philip II., 
that saint being patron of the Spanish order of the 
Golden Fleece. It was about the same time that Duke 
Francesco Maria dedicated to the Madonna del Annun- 
ziata, a chapel in the church of Loreto, which we have 
already mentioned as decorated in fresco by Federigo 
Zuccaro. Its altar-picture was committed to Baroccio, the 
subject naturally being the Annunciation. This was in 
all respects a labour of love, the theme being in perfect 
unison with his dulcet manner, and it was accordingly 
considered by himself his chef-d'oeuvre, a merit which, 
in the opinion of many, is shared by his Deposition, and, 
in that of Simon da Pesaro, by his Santa Michelina. 
Modern connoisseurs may decide between the first and 
last of those three great works, as they hang side by side 
in the Vatican Gallery, the former of them, and the 
Deposition, having been returned from Paris. The 
Annunciation is certainly a very favourable and pleasing 
specimen of the Baroccesque manner, but an eye versed 
in the criticism of sacred art must demur to the judgment 
of Bellori, who found maiden humility in the Virgin, 
a celestial air in the angel, and spiritual character in the 
tinting. The principal figure is the portrait of a young 
lady of the Compagnoni of Macerata, whose features are 
equally devoid of purity and of noble expression ; the 
colouring, though delicately beautiful in itself, is mere- 
tricious in effect, transmuting flesh into roses ; and the 
whole sentiment of the picture is anything but devotional. 
On the other hand, it is distinguished above a majority 
of his important works by unity of composition, although, 
like most productions of his age, the action is exaggerated 

After the picture by Baroccio, once i?i the Ducal Collection at Urbino, now in the 
Uffizi Gallery^ Florence 


and the details mannered. A copy in mosaic was sent to 
replace this favourite effort, which was often reproduced 
by the master and his pupils. A repetition of it was 
presented by Francesco Maria to the court of Spain, and 
another, left unfinished, remains at Gubbio. The Santa 
Michelina, protectress of Pesaro, was painted for the 
church of S. Francesco there, and exhibits a striking 
deviation from this artist's wonted style. A single figure 
kneeling on Mount Calvary in ecstatic contemplation, 
amid the war of convulsed elements, admitted of no paltry 
prettiness, and could scarcely fail to attain grandeur. 
There is, accordingly, in the breadth of composition, and 
in the prevalent low neutral tone, an approach to severe 
art, inducing us to overlook the fluttering draperies and 
girlish forms that belong to the master. 

E-ome possesses by a better title three other pictures 
deserving the notice of those who desire to appreciate 
Baroccio. The Presentation of the Madonna (1594), and 
the Visitation, adorn the Chiesa Nuova, where the latter 
is said to have often inspired S. Filippo Neri's devotions ; 
the Institution of the Sacrament according to the Romish 
rite, in the church of the Minerva, was a present from the 
Duke of Urbino to Clement VIII., who conferred upon 
the painter a gold chain. It is related that, in the original 
sketch, Satan was introduced, whispering treason into the 
ear of Judas, but was afterwards omitted, in deference to 
his Holiness's opinion, that the Devil ought not to be 
represented as "so much at ease in the Saviour's presence." 
On occasion of the same Pontiff's visit to Urbino, in 1598, 
he received from his host a golden vase for holy water, 
beautifully chased, with a painting by Baroccio at the 
bottom, wherein the infant Christ, seated on the clouds, 
gives the benediction with one hand, and supports the 
globe with the other. This charming miniature so de- 
lighted the Pope, that he had it removed from the benitier, 
and affixed to his daily office book. 


The Cathedral of Urbino contains the latest of his great 
church pictures, representing the Last Supper, as well as 
the St. Sebastian, one of his early works, and it is interest- 
ing to contrast their respective styles. The St. Sebastian 
was commissioned for lOO florins in 1557, whilst the 
inspirations of Rome still hovered over his palette, and 
imparted vigour to his already Correggesque manner. 
This hackneyed and generally harrowing subject is treated 
with pleasing novelty, the group consisting of the saint, 
a graceful figure bound to a fig-tree, an imperious judge 
who has condemned him, and a brawny archer who carries 
the sentence into effect, whilst the Madonna and Child 
appear on high to support the martyr's faith and hope. In 
the Cenacolo, the fair promise of that able production is 
sadly abandoned : all those great qualities of his prede- 
cessors, which he began by happily imitating, are there 
replaced by extravagance, and even harmony is absent 
from his multifarious tints. Of his innumerable minor 
works we cannot pause to take note, and he scarcely ever 
painted in fresco. It is remarkable that, although his 
manner was, even in its defects, well suited to the volup- 
tuous character of mythological fable, and to many a scene 
of mundane grandeur, he limited himself to sacred repre- 
sentations, almost the only exception being portraits. Of 
the latter, his most successful is Duke Francesco Maria, 
in rich armour, as he returned from the fight of Lepanto ; 
it has been deservedly honoured with a place in the 
Tribune at Florence, and an equally beautiful repetition 
adorns the Camuccini collection at Rome. 

The amount of his labours is inconceivable, considering 
the constant sufferings which he is represented to have 
undergone, from an almost total destruction of digestion, 
and habitual sleeplessness, consequent upon having been 
poisoned at thirty-two years of age. The large pictures 
we have mentioned are but few of those which he pro- 
duced, yet no artist was more painstaking. Bellori assures 


us that he always prepared two cartoons and two coloured 
sketches, drawing exclusively from the life, and made 
many studies of drapery, separately perfecting his chiar- 
oscuros from figures repeatedly modelled by his own hands, 
ere he transferred them to his paper. Such conscientious 
diligence could scarcely have been looked for in an artist 
whose works owe little to their outline, and may appear 
unnecessary to those who imitate his fusion only as a trick 
to mask defective design. This peculiar quality of his 
colouring was likewise matter of unwearied application, 
and he endeavoured to facilitate its results by an artificial 
scale, corresponding to notes in music, as a test for the 
gradation of his " tuneful " tints. 

The merits of Baroccio consist in much variety and 
novelty of conception, in skilful management of his lights, 
and in the dexterous blending of strongly contrasted tints 
into a harmonious whole. The Correggesque tone of his 
pictures admirably conformed to the soft and gentle turn 
of his character ; but whilst his design is more exact, and 
his foreshortenings are more true, he wants the breadth of 
Correggio ; though his lights are more silvery and super- 
ficially lucent, his chiaroscuro neither attains to the force 
nor the depth of his prototype. The peculiar beauty at 
which he constantly aimed degenerates into a deformity ; 
the almost cloying sweetness of his faces produces in the 
spectator a surfeit, inducing a desire for simpler fare. 
His figures are often deficient in self-possession, his colour- 
ing in verity, his compositions in solidity and repose. In a 
word, Baroccio shared the usual fate of eclectic painters, 
who, distrusting their own resources, seek to make up a 
manner from the combined excellences of their prede- 
cessors. Striving to engraft the grace of the Parmese 
upon the design of the Roman school, he fell into a flimsy 
mannerism, which, in straining after meretricious charms, 
departs from dignity and devotional feeling. 

The days were nearly over when genius loved to master 


several branches of art ; and it would have been better had 
our painter limited his labours to the palette, and to 
spirited etchings from his own compositions. At the com- 
mand, however, of his sovereign, he, in 1603, undertook to 
supply designs for a long-contemplated statue of Duke 
Federigo ; and Gaye gives us several of his letters regard- 
ing the difficulties of this commission, which baffled him 
for six months. His great aim was to retain the peculiar 
character of the head, without rendering prominent the 
unseemly defect in the eye and nose, — an object hitherto 
effected by portraying the old warrior only in profile. He 
worked chiefly from the bas-relief over the library door in 
the palace, and that at the church of S. Giovanni.'^ The 
execution of his design was committed to Girolamo Cam- 
pagna at Venice, a sculptor of note, who cannot justly be 
held accountable for this poor and awkward performance. 
It was placed, in 1606, on the palace stairs at Urbino, 
where it remains. 

But for the misfortune of his broken health, Baroccio 
would have been as happy as his estimable character de- 
served. He was fortunate in his temper, in his extended 
reputation, in his easy circumstances, in his multiplied 
orders, and in his many scholars. His infirmities prevented 
him from accepting flattering invitations to the courts of 
Austria, Spain, and Tuscany, but the friendship of his own 
sovereign never failed him. Having fitted up in his house at 
Urbino a sort of exhibition room for his works, it was re- 
peatedly visited by Francesco Maria, whose Diary not only 
mentions this, but notes his death and that of his brother 
Simone, "an excellent maker of compasses." On the ist 
of October, 161 2, is this entry: "Federigo Baroccio of 
Urbino died, aged seventy-seven, an excellent painter, 
whose eye and hand served him as well as in his youth." 

' Carteggio, III., pp. 529-35. This medallion is now removed from the 
library door to the first landing-place of the great stair. It may have been by 
the medallist, Clemente of Urbino, mentioned in vol. II. 


His real age seems to have been eighty-four, and there can 
be no doubt that he retained his faculties, painting without 
spectacles, until struck at the last by apoplexy, a remark- 
able triumph of mind over protracted bodily infirmities. 
Yet the deterioration of his later works, which may still be 
seen at Urbino and Pesaro, sadly belies the Duke's tribute 
to his green old age. A list of many of those which he 
executed for that kind patron will be found in the last 
number of our Appendix. At his funeral in S. Francesco, 
a church standard, painted by himself, with a Crucifixion, 
was placed at the foot of his bier : the tablet inscribed to 
his memory has been excluded in rebuilding the nave, but 
remains in the adjoining corridor. 

The popularity of Baroccio, both personally and as a 
painter, recruited to his studio many young artists, eager 
to enter the path which he had successfully trodden. But 
the faults of his style were of a sort which imitation was 
sure to exaggerate, and the absence of solid qualities in the 
master prevented the felicitous development of such talent 
as nature had granted to his pupils. We accordingly 
search in vain among his many scholars for a single name 
of eminence ; and we might pass over the Baroccisti with- 
out further notice, but that a considerable proportion of 
them claim a passing word as natives of the duchy. 
Antonio Viviani, son of a baker at Urbino, was a 
favourite of his master, though probably not his nephew, 
as supposed by Lanzi. In early life, his productions imi- 
tated those of Baroccio with great success, as may be seen 
at Fano and in various parts of the duchy, but on proceed- 
ing to Rome his style rapidly deteriorated. Emulating 
the flimsy and faulty manner of the Cavaliere d' Arpino, by 
which high art was then fatally degraded, he painted 
against time in the Vatican and Lateran palaces, as well 
as on many altar commissions. These, when compared 
with other contemporary trash, obtained a degree of 


applause which sounder criticism is compelled to withhold 
from il Sordo, the nickname by which their author was 
generally known. But he sacrificed his art without im- 
proving his fortune ; and an old age, passed in poverty, 
was closed in disappointment and want His brother 
Ludovico, "wicked, graceless, and disobedient, unworthy 
the name of son," had from his father's will five farthings 
in lieu of his patrimony, and his career maintained the 
prestige of this sad outset, both in his character and 

Alessandro Vitale, born at Urbino in 1580,30 com- 
pletely caught the amenity of his instructor's manner, as 
to be employed during his advanced years to copy many 
of his works, which, with a few finishing touches, passed 
as originals. ANTONIO Cimatorio, alias il Visaed or the 
Ugly, was chiefly employed on festive and scenic decora- 
tions, aided by GlULlo Cesare Begni of Pesaro : the 
latter went afterwards to Venice, and, devoting himself to 
better things, left not a few good pictures in the March 
of Treviso. GlORGlO PiNCHi of Castel Durante, and 
Andrea Lillio of Ancona, both approached the Baroc- 
cesque manner with considerable success, and shared the 
labours of il Sordo on the pontifical frescoes in Rome. 
Among those who carried the same style to a distance, 
may be named ANTONIO Antoniano of Urbino, who, 
after aiding Baroccio with his great picture of the Cruci- 
fixion, was sent by him with it to Genoa, and there settled.j 
Giovanni and Francesco, two brothers of Urbino, and! 
probably offsets of this school, emigrated to Spain, andl 
painted in the Escurial, under the patronage of Philip \\\ 
FiLiPPO Bellini, a native of the same city, though 
pupil of Baroccio, adopted a more vigorous manner, butj 
his works are scarcely met with out of Umbria. To this 
catalogue it is enough to add the names of Francescol 
Baldelli, Lorenzo Vagnarelli, Ventura Marza, Cesarel 
Maggieri, Bertuzzi, and Porino, all born in the duchy a 


and those of Bandiera and the Pellegrini of Perugia, the 
Malpiedi of La Marca, and the Cavaliere Francesco 
Vanni of Siena, the latter of whom, though not among 
his scholars, so thoroughly adopted the peculiarities of 
Baroccio, as to be perhaps the happiest of his imitators. 
Terenzio Terenzi of Urbino, known by the soubriquet 
of Rondinello, earned a dishonourable reputation by his 
successful imitations of the older masters, which he passed 
off as originals ; and having fallen into merited disgrace 
with his kind patron, the Cardinal of Montalto, in conse- 
quence of pawning upon him one of his forgeries as a 
Raffaele, he died of vexation in the first years of the 
seventeenth century, aged thirty-five, 

Claudio Ridolfi, though born in Verona in 1560, 
may be considered a subject of Urbino. His family was 
noble, but not rich, so adopting painting as a profession, 
he studied its principles under Paul Veronese, at Venice. 
But the temptations to idleness which beset him at home 
so interfered with success that he resolved to escape from 
them. On his way to Rome he stayed some time at 
Urbino with Baroccio, in whose glittering style he lost 
somewhat of the better manner of his early master. But 
his journey to the " mother of arts and arms " was inter- 
rupted by more powerful fascinations ; for he married a 
noble lady of Urbino, and settled at Corinaldo, some miles 
above Sinigaglia, attracted by the beauty of its site, and 
fain to enjoy, in provincial retirement, exemption from the 
jealousies and struggles which often beset artists in a city 
life, where tact or fortune are apt to confer a success 
denied to merit. Though he returned for a time to his 
native city, and painted many excellent works in it, and in 
the principal towns of the Venetian state, the charms of 
Corinaldo and his wife's influence induced him to spend 
there the greater part of a long life. He died in 1644, 
aged, according to his namesake Carlo Ridolfi, eighty-four, 


or to Ticozzi, seventy years. To the glowing tints of the 
Lombard school he eventually added the merit of more 
accurate design ; but his principal excellences were a 
chastened composition, and a close attention to the pro- 
prieties of costume, as contributing to a proper intelli- 
gence of the subject. A vast number of his productions 
are scattered over Umbria and La Marca, and there issued 
from his studio not a few pupils of provincial eminence, 
most of whom tended considerably towards the Baroc- 
cesque manner. Of those belonging to Urbino the most 
conspicuous was BENEDETTO Marini, who, though 
scarcely known at home, produced many important 
works in Lombardy, and excelled in the management 
of crowded compositions, such as his immense Miracle 
of the Loaves and Fishes, painted at Piacenza in 1625. 
Patanazzi and Urbinelli belong to a less distinguished 
category, and though Girolamo Cialderi is ranked with 
them by Lanzi, he seems referable to a subsequent 

Gubbio continued in the sixteenth century to maintain 
a school which, though acquiring little more than a pro- 
vincial reputation, was not without merit. BENEDETTO 
Nucci was born there about 1520, and, imbibing from 
Raffaelino del Colle certain inspirations of the golden 
age, left in his native town many respectable church 
pictures. He died in 1587, having seen his son Virgilio 
escape from his studio to place himself under Daniel 
di Volterra at Rome. Among his pupils, but of ever 
progressive mediocrity, were Felice Damiano and 
Cesare di Guiseppe Andreoli, the latter an offset 
of a family whose eminence in the art of majolica will 
be mentioned in our fifty-fifth chapter. 


Foreign artists patronised by the dukes Delia Revere— The tomb of Julius II. 
by Michael Angelo — Character and influence of his genius — Titian's 
works for Urbino — Palma Giovane — IL. Semolei — Sculptors at Urbino. 

IT would occupy a full chapter were we to trace the 
history of what Julius 1 1, meant to have been his 
tomb, from the chisel of Michael Angelo Buonar- 
roti ; yet the subject is too illustrative of that 
Pontiff's grandiose spirit, and of the artist's unfulfilled 
aspirations, as well as too intimately connected with the 
ducal house of Urbino, to be overlooked. The work was 
commissioned by Julius himself, who, early in his pontifi- 
cate, called Buonarroti from Florence to execute a rest- 
ing-place for his ashes, which, in the words of Vasari, 
should " surpass in beauty and grandeur, in imposing 
ornament and elaborate sculpture, all antique and imperial 
sepulchres." The vast size and colossal proportions of 
the first design were worthy of artist and patron, and 
cannot be at all estimated from the curtailed and aimless 
substitute which now challenges our criticism. Yet there 
was exaggeration in the ideas as well as the forms ; the 
allegories were far-fetched, the adulation fulsome, and the 
intention obscure. Such at least is the impression left 
by the descriptions of Vasari and Condivi. Without 
attempting to reconcile these with the sketch engraved 
in the jNIilanese edition of the former author [1811], it 
is enough to say that the original plan was an isolated 
parallelogram, with about ten statues and seven carya- 
tides on each fagade, and a sarcophagus aloft for the 



Pope's body, the estimate for all which seems to have 
been 10,000 ducats, augmented by his executors to 16,000. 
Its destined site was St. Peter's, and its utter dispropor- 
tion in style and extent to that time-worn basilicon 
appears to have suggested to the indomitable Pontiff the 
vast idea of reconstructing the metropolitan church of 
Christendom. This more engrossing undertaking absorbed 
much of the enterprise and materials destined for the tomb, 
so the latter remained unfinished at the death of Julius, 
who barely survived the completion of those Sistine fres- 
coes to which he had transferred the sculptor's reluctant 
labours. A new and reduced contract having been made 
by his executors for its completion, Buonarroti resumed 
it with the preference due to a favourite work ; but he 
sought in vain for leisure to proceed with it on the acces- 
sion of Leo X., who, by a strange misapplication of his 
powers, sent him to work the marble quarries of Pietra 
Santa. Indeed, the executors failed to obtain implement 
of his undertaking under either of the Medicean popes, 
alienated as these were from the della Rovere, and intent 
upon otherwise employing the genius of their gifted 

At length Francesco Maria I, took up the forgotten 
memorial of his uncle, whose over-ambition of monu- 
mental honours had meanwhile led to a total oversight 
of his place of sepulture. As early as 1525, we find the 
Duke addressing complaints and threats to Buonarroti, 
whom he charged with idleness, after receiving prepay- 
ment of his stipulated price, unaware apparently that 
he had been overborne by higher authority, and thus 
compelled to employ himself on commissions less germane 
to his feelings and tastes. A misunderstanding in regard 
to the sums so advanced further complicated this unfortu- 
nate affair, which was throughout fraught with disappoint- 
ment and annoyance to Michael Angelo. It slept on till 
1532, when a further modification was made of the plan 


to a single facade whereon six statues were to be placed ; 
but amid competing calls upon his " fearless and furious " 
chisel or pencil, little progress was made in the next ten 
years. Irritated by continual exercise of the papal con- 
trol, such as his independent spirit could ill brook, fretting 
at the uncongenial labours often thrust upon him, and 
galled by repeated allegations against his gratitude and 
his integrity, Buonarroti turned his eyes to Urbino, as 
a home where his genius would be appreciated without 
sacrificing his freedom of action, and took steps to retire 
thither and redeem his pledge to the Duke. But in 
Paul III. he had a yet more exacting task-master, from 
whom there was no escape, and in November, 1541, 
Cardinal Ascanio Parisani wrote to Duke Guidobaldo 
that the Pope having commissioned the sculptor to paint 
the Last Judgment, which would occupy his undivided 
attention during several years, to the exclusion of the 
monument, he had to propose, at the instance of his Holi- 
ness, a new arrangement, whereby the statues for its 
reduced design, so far as not already finished by Michael 
Angelo, were committed to other artists, working upon 
his models and under his eye. Yielding gracefully to 
the necessity of the case, the Duke wrote the following 

" Most excellent Messer Michelangiolo, 
" His Holiness having deigned to [inform] me of his 
urgent desire to avail himself for some time of your 
labours, in painting and decorating the new chapel he is 
making in the Apostolic Palace, and I, esteeming and 
gratefully acknowledging all service and satisfaction given 
to his holiness as bestowed on myself, in order that you 

^ There is a copy of it in the Maglialiechiana Library, class viii., 
No. 1392, to which Gaye has from other sources supplied the date of 
6th March, 1542. Carteggio, II., 289-309. From him, Ciampi, Vasari, and 
Condivi, we have condensed the very confused details respecting the monu- 
ment of Julius which have come down to us. 


may more freely give your mind to that matter, am per- 
fectly content that you place on the tomb of my uncle 
of blessed memory, Pope Julius, those three statues 
already terminated entirely by your hand, the Moses 
included. And in order, as nearly as possible, to perfect 
the whole in terms of our last stipulations, which, as I am 
informed, you are anxious and ready to do, [I consent] 
that you commit the execution of the other three statues 
to some good and esteemed master, but after your own 
designs and under your superintendence ; relying con- 
fidently, from your good-will to his sacred memory and 
to my house, that you will bring the work to a satis- 
factory issue, and so contrive that it shall be deemed 
most laudable, and in all respects worthy of you. Such a 
result will fully satisfy me ; and I again beseech you to 
see to this, as conferring on me a special obligation ; 
offering myself at all times [ready] for all your commands 
and pleasure." 

Under this final alteration of his contract, Michael 
Angelo forthwith assigned to Raffaele da Montelupo the 
execution of his designs for a Madonna with a Child in 
her arms, and for a prophet and a sibyl seated, at the price 
of 400 scudi ; employing at the same time two decor- 
ative stonecutters upon the ornamental details of the 
facade, at a cost of 800 more. The statues from his own 
hand were to be Moses, and two caryatides holding cap- 
tives, who had been introduced into the first plan, as 
allegorical of the cities in Romagna subdued by Julius. 
But, finding these too large for the reduced design, he pro- 
posed to substitute for them two other figures from his 
chisel, already far advanced, and which he would entrust 
to be finished by others at a cost of 200 scudi, his Moses 
being destined to stand between them. All this is stated 
by him in a petition to the Pope of 20th July, 1542. The 
two substituted statues were finished by Buonarroti, and, 


in the documents printed by Gaye, are named by him 
Active and Contemplative Life. This, however, is a free 
interpretation of the allegory, the figures being, according 
to Visari, Leah and Rachel. The recumbent Pope was 
the wretched work of one Maso di Bosco or Boscoli ; and 
the prophet and sibyl by Montelupo are said to have 
greatly dissatisfied Michael Angelo. The two rejected 
caryatide prisoners found their way to Paris in the time of 
Francis L, and remain in the Louvre ; another similar 
is in the great hall of the Palazzo Vecchio, at Florence ; 
and some grandiose, half-blocked ideas, still to be seen 
here and there, whose rough power identifies them with 
Michael Angelo, may have belonged to his original plan. 
About the beginning of 1545, forty years after it had been 
undertaken, the work was placed in the Church of S. 
Pietro in Vincoli, of which Julius had been Cardinal- 
presbyter. Though meant as his tomb, it is but his 
monument ; for the bones of that imperious high priest 
have found a fitter resting-place in the grandest of Christian 
fanes, his own creation, and best memorial. Few works 
of art have occasioned greater variety of opinion. In his 
Lectures, Fuseli has exposed several of his defects, and the 
impression it most frequently leaves upon the spectator is 
thus aptly expressed by him in an Italian letter to the 
translator of Webb on the Beautiful : — 

" In the Moses, Michael Angelo has sacrificed beauty to 
anatomical science, and to his favourite passion for the 
terrible and the gigantic. If it be true that he looked at 
the arm of the famous Ludovisi satyr, he probably, also, 
studied the head, in order to transfer its character to 
the Moses, since both of them resemble that of an old he- 
goat. There is, notwithstanding, in the figure a quality of 
monstrous grandeur which cannot be denied to Buonarroti, 
and which, like a thunder-storm, presaged the bright days 
of Raffaele." 

This monument must ever be regarded as but the 
III, — 2 c 


epitome of a grand design, curtailed without scale or 
measurement, deformed by colossal portions from the 
original in combination with dwarfish details of its pigmy 
substitute, marred by incomplete allegories, and eked out 
by supposititious figures. Yet few will leave the spot 
without another glance at the tremendous Moses, nor will 
any connoisseur avert his gaze until the awful majesty of 
that one statue has eclipsed the petty incongruities of its 
location. It is among those rare creations of man's mind 
which, rising above the standard of human forms and 
human sympathies, demand a loftier test. The pervading 
sentiment alone challenges our intellectual regard, and 
bespeaks our verdict ; yet with playful prodigality, the 
artist has lavished an ivory finish upon its details, without 
detracting from the sublime character of the irate lawgiver.^ 

Although this work is the only link directly connecting 
Michael Angelo with the ducal house of Urbino, we may 
be allowed a passing tribute to that genius which has 
hammered huge rocks into colossal compositions, and em- 
bodied themes the most difficult in forms the most daring. 
Of the simple element of beauty we, indeed, find in him 
few traces. Gentleness and pathos had no place either in 
his wayward spirit or in his works.* ^ Discarding the 

■* A favourite workman of Buonarroti, often met with under the patrony- 
mic Urbino, was Francesco Amadori di Colonello, of Castel Durante, who 
lived with him from 1530 to 1536. See GuALANDi, Nuovo Raccolta di 
Lettere sulla Pithira, I., 48-52. 

*2 No? Consider then the Pieta of S. Pietro in Vatican©, the unfinished 
Pieta of S. Maria del Fiore. All that Dennistoun says of Michelangelo is 
full of misunderstanding. For instance, he never "startles" though he may 
terrify one. It would be ridiculous to defend him. His work is beautiful, 
with the beauty of the mountains in which he alone has found the spirit of 
man. His figures, half unveiled from the living rock, are like some terrible 
indictment of the world he lived in : an indictment of himself too, perhaps, 
of his contempt for things as they are ; it is in a sort of rage at its useless- 
ness that he leaves them unfinished. In him the spirit of man has stammered 
the syllables of eternity, and in its agony of longing or sorrow has failed to 
speak only the word love. All things particular to the individual, all that 
is small or of little account, that endures but for a moment, he has purged 

w 5 

<5 <i 

5^ ~r 





beau-ideal aimed at in antique sculpture, where movement 
was restrained by the observance of form, and passion 
modified to the measure of fair proportion, he either 
startled by impossible postures, gnarled limbs, and sturdy 
deformity, or, in the words of Fuseli, " perplexed the limbs 
of grandeur with the minute ramifications of anatomy." 
Hence, when tried by the rules of art, many of his creations 
are found wanting ; when submitted to the standard of 
pure taste, their faults become glaring. In straining to 
shake off the trammels of manner, he often fell into 
mannerism the most infelicitous ; and the impression too 
commonly left on the spectator is that of energy wasted 
and talent misapplied. But his mind was of that lofty cast 
which, soaring above common themes, and spurning con- 
ventional restrictions, substituted power for beauty, and 
challenged our wonder rather than our approbation. 
Awed by the sublimity of his ideas, we overlook their in- 
adequate development, until, descending to details, we 
impugn the unfinished sketch, and half-chiselled marble, 
painfully reminded that superhuman gifts are often marred 
by very ordinary weaknesses. 

No one, perhaps, fully aware of Michael Angelo's 
celebrity, ever looked for the first time upon one of his 
principal works without a shade of disappointment. In- 
ventions appealing to the intellect without sympathy from 
the feelings, — attitudes struggling with difficulty rather 
than aiming at elegance, — muscular masses, rugged as the 
blocks from which they are rudely hewn ; such things 
surpass the comprehension of superficial observers, and 
disenchant common minds. Yet there is a spell around all 
of them which arrests the most careless, and recalls the 
most disappointed, and the longer they are examined, 
especially by persons of cultivated understanding, the more 

away, so that life itself may make, as it were, an immortal gesticulation almost 
monstrous in its passionate intensity — a shadow seen on the mountains, a 
mirage on the snow. 


certain will be the final tribute to their transcendent 
qualities, the more unreserved the avowal that their author 
stands out among the foremost geniuses whom the world 
has seen. Feebleness or insipidity had no place in his 
conceptions, and no individual ever left the impress of his 
vigorous mind upon so many various arts. He was a poet 
of no mean pretensions. His architecture is as successful 
as bold. It is difficult to say whether his frescoes or his 
sculptures are the more admirable. Even his oil paintings 
are worthy of more notice than they have met with ; and, 
the few ascertained specimens display a mastery of finish 
little to be looked for from their wayward and impetuous 
author, and develop in their execution, as well as in their 
design, an extraordinary pictorial science. The trite 
assertion that he never painted but three easel pictures 
seems fully negatived by the mechanical perfection which, 
notwithstanding a certain languor of colouring and flatness 
of surface, these exhibit, and which must have been gained 
by extensive practice. In his house, even a miniature on 
parchment is shown as his work ; and not a few tiny 
productions in bronze and ivory bear the stamp of his in- 
vention, if not of his hand. These were probably labours 
of those early days when, with equal verity and shrewdness 
the Gonfaloniere Soderini recommended him to the Roman 
court as " a fine young man, unequalled in his art through- 
out Italy, or perhaps the world. He will do anything for 
good words and caresses ; indeed, he must be treated with 
affection and favour, in which case he will perform things 
to astonish all beholders." ^ In the sacristy of S. Lorenzo, 
at Florence, these anticipations were amply realised on the 
monuments of two of the Medici, with whom an earlier 
portion of these pages has made us acquainted. These 
works were, however, no labour of love to the sculptor, 
whose sympathies had been alien to that race from the 

^ See Gaye, Carteggio, II., 83-109, sub anno 1506. 


days when Pietro ceased to walk in the ways of his fathers. 
Accordingly, their greatest fault is, that the artist absorbs 
our interest almost to the exclusion of the personages com- 
memorated, to whom the allegorical compositions appear 
to have no reference. It is, indeed, only their portraits 
that recall the purpose of the monuments. That of the 
elegant and gentle Giuliano awakens no association that 
might not be suggested by the statue of some nameless 
warrior of the classic age. More appropriate is the bearing 
of Lorenzo, the usurper of Urbino. The stern gloom that 
broods over his casque, and shadows his repulsive features, 
scowling upon the world from whose sympathies he seems 
a voluntary alien, is an enduring index of his unamiable 
character. But it is in the Sistine chapel that Buonarroti 
sits pre-eminent. Who that stands beneath its grand 
frescoes can doubt the daring, the originality, and grasp of 
his genius, who triumphantly called into existence forms 
and movements before which ordinary minds shrink into 
pigmy dimensions ? Yet, who that observes the rapid 
decline of the Michael-Angelesque school into mannered 
contortion and extravagant caricature, can question its 
mischievous influence, or the danger of opening up such 
fields to uninspired labourers ? On both sides of the Alps, 
its followers or imitators, mistaking extravagance for 
energy, manner for power, and servilely substituting ex- 
ceptional attitudes for the sublimity of nature and the 
dignity of repose, have copied his design without imbibing 
his spirit, and have embodied feeble conceptions in pre- 
posterous forms. 

Freely have we spoken of a name to whom all honour is 
due, whose failings may be noted as a warning, without 
diminishing our respect for his manifold attainments. Our 
readers may appreciate his success as a poet through 
Mr. Glassford's felicitous version of a sonnet worthy the 
noblest of art's disciples. * ^ 

*^ Cf. J. A. Symonds, The Sonnets of Michelangelo. 


" Now my fair bark through life's tempestuous flood 
Is steered, and full in view that port is seen, 
Where all must answer what their course has been, 
And every work be tried, if bad or good. 

" Now do those lofty dreams, my fancy's brood, 

Which made of Art an idol and a queen. 

Melt into air ; and now I feel, how keen ! 

That what I needed most I most withstood. 
Ye fabled joys, ye tales of empty love. 

What are ye now, if twofold death be nigh ? 

The first is certain, and the last I dread. 
Ah ! what does Sculpture, what does Painting prove, 

When we have seen the Cross, and fixed our eye 

On Him whose arms of love were there outspread ! " 

The home patronage of the della Rovere dukes was, how- 
ever by no means Hmited to their subjects, and TITIAN*^ 
enjoyed high favour from the first two sovereigns of that 
dynasty. The coronation of Charles V., in 1532, having 
attracted to Bologna a concourse of distinguished per- 
sons, Titian, then in his fifty-fifth year, was honoured by 
an imperial invitation to join the throng. The monarch, 
himself reputed no mean craftsman, delighted to pass what 
time he could snatch from business, in conversing with the 
painter, and observing his progress, till one day, having 
picked up a fallen pencil, he returned it, saying, " Titian 
deserves to be waited on by an Emperor." The Duke of 
Urbino, who may have known the Venetian in his native 
city, was among the sovereigns and cardinals whose com- 
missions on that occasion contended for preference, and 
but a short time, probably, elapsed ere his own and his 
consort's portraits were produced,* ^ although Vasari and 

*^ For Titian, consult Gronau, Titian (Duckworth, 1904). By far the 
best handbook on the painter. 

*^ As before stated, the first works that Titian painted for Francesco 
Maria were a portrait of Hannibal, a Nativity, a figure of our Lord. The 
Duke writes him concerning them in 1533 as follows (cf. Gronau, op cit., 
p. 91):— 

" Dearest Friend, — 

"You know through our envoy how much we wish for pictures . . . 


After the pictwe by Tiiiatt in the Pitti Gallery. Florence. 

Sieppjseii po^ t-rait of Duchess Leonora 


Ridolfi have erroneously fixed their date in 1543, five 
years after Francesco Maria's death. 

Few of Titian's Hkenesses have been more lauded than 
the Duke's, both as regards truth and execution ; but we 
shall quote only the testimony of Aretino, who knew well 
the painter and his subject. " In gazing upon it, I called 

and the longer we have to wait the more eager we are to have them . . . and 
so we beg you to satisfy us as soon as possible. Finish at least one of the 
pictures, that we may rejoice in something by your hand." 

The portraits were begun in 1536, in which year (October) Aretino 
wrote a sonnet on that of the Duke. They were finished early in 1538. 
Of the earlier pictures, the figure of Christ is probably that in the Pitti 
Gallery (228) ; the others apparently have perished. 

In 1536 the Duke wrote again asking for a Resurrection for the Duchess, 
and begging Titian to finish the "picture of a woman in a blue dress as 
beautifully as possible." This latter is probably the Bella of the Pitti Gallery 
(18), which some have thought to be Eleonora Gonzaga, Francesco Maria's 
wife. She was then forty-three years old, and her portrait was painted at 
this time by the same master (Uffizi, 599) as a companion for that of the 
Duke (Uffizi, 605). 

Duke Guidobaldo, while yet but Duke of Camerino, had sat to Titian, and 
had bought from him the picture of a "Nude Woman" (Gronau, op cit., 
p. 95). In March, 1538, he sent a messenger to Venice, who was instructed 
not to leave the city without them. He got one, but the other had not been 
delivered in May of that year. The Duke wrote to him to beware lest it 
passed elsewhere, "for I am resolved to mortgage a part of my property if I 
cannot obtain it in any other way." This picture was probably the Venus of 
the Tribune (Uffizi, 11 17) who is so like the Bella. Now if we are right in 
supposing the pictures alluded to in the letters — the lady in the blue dress 
and the nude woman — are the pictures we know (which came from Urbino), it 
seems obvious that they cannot have been portraits of the Duchess. And, 
again, we have the Duchess's portrait painted at this time, in which we see 
a woman of forty-three, which was in truth her age. 

In June, 1539, Guidobaldo, Duke of Urbino now, received three portraits, 
of the Emperor, the King of France, and the Turkish Sultan, from Titian. 
Vasari speaks of them, but they have been lost. In 1542-44 he painted 
a banner for the Brotherhood of Corpus Domini at Urbino — the Resurrection 
and the Last Supper. The pictures were shortly afterwards framed, and are 
now in the Urbino Gallery (10). Then in November, 1546, Duchess Giulia 
Varana of Urbino writes impatiently to Titian, sending at the same time 
some sleeves he had asked for, and hoping that he will not delay longer 
to finish "our portraits" (Gronau, op cit., p. 99). And letters of Aretino in 
1545 confirm the fact that Titian was painting portraits of the Duke and 
Duchess. Then in February, 1547, one of the courtiers of Urbino sent Titian 
a dress of the Duchess, adding that " a handsomer one would have been sent 
if he had not wished for one of crimson or pink velvet " ; a damask one was 
sent of the desired colour. The portrait by Titian in the State Apartments 
of the Pitti Palace, discovered only a few years ago, is said to be of Catherine 
de' Medici, by Tintoretto. It is, however, certainly Titian's (Gronau, 
op. cit., p. 100), and is probably the missing portrait of the Duohess Giulia. 


Nature to witness, making her confess that Art was posi- 
tively metamorphosed into herself; and to this, each 
wrinkle, each hair, each spot bears testimony, whilst the 
colouring not only exhibits vigour of person, but displays 
manliness of mind. The vermilion hue of that velvet 
drapery behind him is reflected in the lustrous armour he 
wears. How fine the effect of his casquet-plumes, repro- 
duced on the burnished cuirass of the mighty general ! 
Even his batons of command are perfect nature, chiefly 
that of his own adventure, thus budding on the faith of his 
renown, which began to shed its glories in the war which 
humbled his private foe. Who would assert that the 
truncheons confided to him by the Church, Venice, and 
Florence, were not of silver?"^ In Aretino's letter were 
enclosed two sonnets on the portrait and its companion ; 
they will be found in the Appendix, No. XL, together with 
one in which Bernardo Tasso appeals to Titian for a like- 
It is unfinished, and the dress is of rose colour. It is one of his finest 

There were two portraits at least of Guidobaldo by Titian, one of 1538 and 
one of 1545 ; one of these is said to have been in Florence in the seventeenth 
century. Gronau suggests that the "Young Englishman " of the Pitti Gallery 
(92), the finest portrait even Titian ever painted, may be one of them. But I 
cannot persuade myself that that figure is other than English. Yet if it be, 
it might well companion the Bella. 

In 1545 Titian, on his way to Rome, travelled by Ferrara and Pesaro, 
where Guidobaldo, who had accompanied him, entertained him and made 
him many presents, sending a company of horse with him to Rome. There 
follows an interval of twenty years, in which their friendship seems not alto- 
gether to have been forgotten. Then between 1564 and 1567 Titian painted 
several pictures for Guidobaldo, among them a " Christ" and a " Madonna " ; 
in 1573 he apparently had another commission. It is impossible to say what 
these pictures may have been. 

^ The style of Aretino was often rugged, wayward, and unintelligible, like 
his character. He seems to imagine that, of the three batons placed behind 
the Duke, one, bearing acorns and oak leaves, alludes to his successful cam- 
paigns on his own account, for recovery of his states. Lettere Pittoriche, I., 
App. No. 29. The force of colour peculiar to this, above all Titian's works, 
cannot be fully given by the burin, especially not by the mezza macchia style 
in which it has been engraved for this volume. Our frontispiece, though ac- 
curate as a likeness, is accordingly among the least eff"ective illustrations in 
our work. No other original portrait of the Duke has fallen under my ob- 
servation ; and if the slight youthful figure introduced by Raflfaele into the 
Disputa and School of Athens really was meant for him, no resemblance can 
be traced in it. 




H 16 


ness of his lady-love. Aretino's lines regarding the Duke 
may be thus literally rendered : — 

" Fear on the crowd from either eyebrow falls ; 
Fire in his glance, and pride upon his front, 
The spacious seat of honour and resolve. 
Beneath that bust of steel, with arm prepared, 
Burns valour, prompt all peril to repel, 
From sacred Italy, that on his worth relies." 

The other sonnet, descriptive of Leonora's likeness, alludes 
to the master's harmonious tints as figuring varied charms 
met in her character, such as humility of disposition, de- 
corum in dress and manners, sustained by a dignified 
expression. In her features, beauty united with modesty, 
a rare combination ; and grace was enthroned on her eye- 
brows. Prudence presided over her becoming silence, and 
other excellent qualities marvellously adorned her fore- 
head. Nor are these praises exaggerated. Those who 
attentively observe this portrait in the Uffizi Gallery will 
readily acknowledge that, although, perhaps, more elabo- 
rated in its details than any other from the master's hand, 
his pencil never attained greater breadth, nor embodied 
high art in more severe character.^ 

The connection thus formed by Titian with the house of 
Urbino was maintained after the accession of Duke Guido- 
baldo, through whom Paul III. invited him to Bologna in 
1543, where he painted that Pontiff with his wonted 
success. About the same time the Duke commissioned 
from him a likeness of himself, which was finished two 
years later. The misfortune sustained by its disappear- 
ance may be appreciated from the words of Aretino, who, 
writing to Guidobaldo, says, " For he has so embodied in 
his colours the very air you breathe, that in the same 

^ The zebelino on the Duchess's knee was the fashionable bag or reticule 
of that day, made of an entire sable-skin, the animal's head, richly jewelled, 
forming its clasp. Giulia della Revere d' Este commissioned such a one from 
a jeweller at Bologna in 1555, and paid him forty-six dollais to account. 


attitude as you at this instant appear to others at Vicenza, 
we now behold you in Venice, where we circle, bow, and 
pay court to you, just as do your suite who are in waiting 
upon you there." Vecellio lived among men whose talents, 
and fame, and forms, and dress deserved commemoration ; 
and to such he did justice, for painter and sitters were 
worthy of each other, conferring a mutual and endur- 
ing illustration. His pencil, and those of his followers, 
were singularly happy in preserving individual character, 
although wanting in ideality and intense expression. But 
their great excellence displayed itself in the representation 
of voluptuous scenes, adapted alike to their glowing tints 
and the taste of their countrymen. 

In 1545, Titian repaired to Rome, at the request of 
Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, visiting Urbino*^ on the 
way, and receiving several commissions which he could not 
stay to execute. Setting forward on his journey, he was 
conducted by Guidobaldo in person to Pesaro, and thence 
by an escort to Rome. The impression left upon the 
painter in this passage is thus described to the Duke, by 
his friend Aretino : — " Titian writes me, ' Worship the 
Lord Guidobaldo, gossip ! — worship him, I say, gossip ! 
for no princely bounty can compare with his.' And these 
exclamations are his grateful acknowledgment of the 
mounted escort of seven attendants which your Excel- 
lency provided for him, with good company, and all paid ; 
over and above the ease wherewith, amid caresses, honours, 
and gifts, you made him feel quite at home. I was, in- 
deed, melted by the account he gave me of your marvel- 
lous efforts to benefit, honour, and welcome him." We 
have, to the like purpose, the less exceptionable testimony 
of Bembo, who, on the loth of October, wrote to Girolamo 
Ouerini: "I must add that your old friend Maestro Tiziano 
is here, who represents himself as much beholden to you. 

*^ Apparently he only went to Pesaro. Cf. note *2, p. 390. 


. . . The Lord Duke of Urbino has treated him with 
exceeding kindness, retaining him about his person, and 
bringing him as far as Pesaro, and thence forwarding him 
thither, well mounted and attended, for all which he 
acknowledges himself under great obligations." 

Vasari mentions, as executed by Titian for the court 
of Urbino, portraits of Popes Sixtus IV., Julius II., and 
Paul III. ; of Charles V., Francis I., Sultan Solyman, and 
the Cardinal of Lorraine. I have not succeeded in tracing 
any of these with certainty, but two half-lengths of beauti- 
ful women, added to the list by Ticozzi, may probably 
be the Flora *^ now in the Uffizi Gallery, and the Bella 
in the Pitti Palace : their features exhibit considerable 
analogy with each other, and with the former of two 
pictures we are now to describe. In the last number 
of the Appendix we shall rectify various errors regarding 
Titian's two celebrated Venuses in the Tribune at Flor- 
ence. One of them, painted for Guidobaldo IL, has no 
proper right to that title, being correctly called in the 
old Urbino inventories, " a naked woman lying." She is 
stretched at full length along a bed, on which is a linen 
sheet, with a green curtain above. A tiny spaniel crouches 
at her feet, and two waiting-maids are searching in a chest 
near an open balcony, for garments wherewith to veil her 
all-exposed charms. The languor of her eye, the listless 
attitudes into which her limbs have dropped, personify 
voluptuousness, and express a mind quietly gloating over 
the past. A certain harmony and warmth of tone, fused 
throughout the vast surface of delicate flesh-tints and 
snowy linen, over which broad daylight streams without 
shadow, are worthy of our highest admiration ; and the 
relief given to the figure, with little aid from the chiar- 
oscuro, is probably unrivalled. The companion picture, 

*' It seems unlikely that the Flora was ever in Urbino. At any rate, in 
the seventeenth century it was in the collection of the Spanish ambassador at 
Amsterdam (of. Gronau, op cit., p. 289). 


which was not, however, executed for Urbino, represents 
an equally nude figure on a couch of purple damask, near 
a balcony opening upon a distant landscape. The boy 
of love, archly toying upon her bosom, decides the subject 
to be Venus ; and her glowing eye-ball expresses the 
ardour that thrills through her veins. The full aud solid 
flesh is true to those developed forms which, still characteri- 
sing the women about Treviso, formed the standard of 
female perfection in Titian's studio ; and although the 
skill with which they undulate, softened by chiaroscuro, 
demands all praise, there may yet be some who, dissenting 
from such an ideal of beauty, wish this mortal mould 
had been refined into the symmetry of that " perfect god- 
dess-ship " which close by " loves in stone." Having thus 
noticed these nudities, it may be well to add, that the 
shameless Aretino, while boasting of his own unrestrained 
debaucheries, bears testimony to the purity of Titian's 
morals, and the habitual control under which his passions 
were maintained. 

As an antidote, perhaps, to so sensual a production, 
Titian sent to Urbino, with his Venus, a picture offering 
the utmost contrast in sentiment and artistic treatment. 
It was the first of those Magdalens,*^ frequently repeated 
by him with slight variations, of whom not a few school 
copies may be seen passing for originals. Ridolfi tells us 
that he caught the idea from an antique sculpture, trans- 
forming it into a penitent daughter of sin. Yet he has 
treated it according to those ideas of female beauty which 
it was the peculiar province of the Venetian school to 
develop, and which in Italy have passed into the pro- 
verbial phrase of un bel pezzo di came, meaning a buxom 
dame. To borrow the words of Ticozzi, " he has repre- 
sented a noble lady, who, while yet in her prime, had 

*' Pitti Gallery, No. 67. We know nothing of this picture save that it 
must have been painted about 1530-35, and that Vasari saw it in the Guarda- 
roba of the Palace of Urbino. 

r- 'O 

C ^ 


abandoned the delights and delicacies of her station. 
With due regard to her past position, he has lavished upon 
her the beauties of form and complexion ; her repentance 
he has characterised with the most devoted expression of 
which art is capable." The ascetic sentiment prevailing 
in this work is well adapted to the sympathies of the 
Roman Church, among whose followers it has ever been 
more a favourite than with Protestant amateurs. 

Our notice of Titian in connection with the court of 
Urbino, may be closed by a letter, which, in the servile 
phrase of this century, ventures thus to dun Guidobaldo 
for payment of a picture sent him five months before : — 

" To the most illustrious and most excellent Lord, the 
Lord Duke of Urbino. 

" Most illustrious and most excellent Lord, 

" Very many days have now passed since your most 
illustrious Excellency desired that I should be advised how 
your [servant] Agatone ought to have remunerated me for 
the picture which I sent to your most illustrious Excel- 
lency. Which he not having done, although six months 
are nearly elapsed since the loth of March, but having 
only put me off with words, I have chosen to take the 
step of informing your illustrious Excellency by these 
lines, that your boundless liberality may aid my necessity, 
though I admit that I may thereby appear wanting in 
modesty. I know that your illustrious Excellency, occu- 
pied by important affairs, cannot have your mind 
distracted by such trifles, yet I consider it my duty 
respectfully to let you know my difficulty ; and beseeching 
you to retain me in your wonted favour, I humbly kiss 
your most distinguished hands. From Venice, the 27th of 
October, 1567. Your most illustrious Excellency's most 

humble servant, 



In one of his visits to Venice, about 1559, Guidobaldo, 
chancing to enter a church of the Crociferi, where a youth 
was engaged in copying the St. Laurence of Titian, he 
entered into conversation with him, and subsequently 
returned more than once to observe his progress. On one 
of these occasions, while the Duke was hearing mass at a 
neighbouring altar, the young artist seized the opportunity 
to sketch his likeness, which was shown him by an atten- 
dant. Pleased with its success, and with the painter's 
manners, he invited him to enter his service. The object 
of this casual patronage proved not unworthy of it. He 
was Jacopo Palma the younger, a name already known 
to art ; for his grandfather, who bore it, had distinguished 
himself among the scholars of Giorgione and Titian ; and 
his aunt, Violante, was mistress and favourite model of the 
latter. Palma Giovane, then in his sixteenth year, accom- 
panied the Duke to Pesaro, where he employed his pencil 
in copying works of Raffaele and Titian. The only 
anecdote preserved of his residence in the court of Urbino 
proves that he continued to enjoy his patron's favour ; for, 
in a dispute with the house-steward as to his luncheon, the 
latter was ordered to treat the youth with more consider- 
ation. In order to obtain for him every advantage, the 
Duke sent him to the charge of his brother. Cardinal della 
Rovere, at Rome. After there diligently studying antique 
marbles, with the works of Michael Angelo and those of 
Polidoro di Caravaggio, Palma, at twenty-four, returned to 
Venice. On his way, he paid a visit of thanks to Guido- 
baldo, and by his works removed certain unfavourable 
impressions made by unfriendly detractors in his absence. 
Of those which he may have executed for this court, no 
account has reached us, beyond a notice that Francesco 
Maria II. paid him, at Venice, 1591, 86 scudi for a 
Madonna and a St. Francis, which do not, however, appear 
in the wardrobe inventories. He painted for the metro- 
politan cathedral at Urbino the Discovery of the Holy 


Cross, a picture praised by Lanzi beyond its merits ; and 
for Pesaro, a S. Ubaldo, and the Annunciation. 

Another Venetian, patronised by Guidobaldo, was GlAN- 
BATTISTA Franco, surnamed // Semolei, who was brought 
to Urbino on a recommendation of Girolamo Genga, in 
order to paint the choir of the cathedral. He there treated 
the favourite Umbrian theme of the Coronation of the 
Madonna in a manner utterly at variance with the old 
feeling, taking as his prototype the Judgment of Michael 
Angelo, of whom he was a devoted and assiduous imitator. 
This work having been destroyed by the fall of the roof in 
1789, we shall content ourselves with the description of 
Vasari, who had seen it, and whose leaning must have 
been favourable to a work produced under such influence. 
" And so, in imitation of Buonarroti's Judgment, he 
represented in the sky the glorification of the saints, 
scattered on clouds over the roof, with a whole choir of 
angels around our Lady, in the act of ascending to heaven, 
where Christ waited to crown her, whilst a number of 
patriarchs, prophets, sibyls, apostles, martyrs, confessors, 
and maidens, in varied groups and attitudes, manifested 
their joy at the arrival of the glorious Virgin. This 
subject might have afforded to Battista an excellent 
opportunity of proving his ability, had he adopted a better 
plan, not only in the practical management of his fresco, 
but in conducting his entire theme with more judicious 
arrangement. But in this work he fell into his usual 
system, constantly repeating the same faces, figures, 
draperies, and extremities. The colouring was likewise 
utterly destitute of beauty, and everything was strained 
and puny. Hence the work, when finished, greatly dis- 
appointed the Duke, Genga, and every one, much having 
been expected from his known capacity for design." 
Several easel pictures of his, in the sacristy of the Duomo, 
are weak in composition and poor in colour ; but one of 
St. Peter and St. Paul, before the Madonna and Child, is 


an exceedingly grandiose production, in the Buonarroti 
style. We shall have further occasion to speak of this 
artist in our next chapter. He was born about 1498, and 
lived to the age of sixty-three ; but aware of his de- 
ficiencies as a painter, he betook himself in a great measure 
to engraving, for which his accuracy as a draftsman well 
qualified him. 

In absence of native sculptors of eminence, the plastic 
art never was much cherished in our duchy, and few com- 
missions were given, except for decorative or monumental 
purposes. The festive arches on Duchess Vittoria's mar- 
riage were probably designed by Tiziano Aspetti, a 
bronzist of Upper Italy. Her husband having acquired a 
Leda by Bartolomeo Ammanati of Florence, he was called 
to Urbino, to construct a memorial for Francesco Maria I. 
It does not, however, appear to have been successful, and 
being quite disproportioned to the little octangular church 
of Sta. Chiara, of which it occupied the centre, it was 
removed after the Devolution, and probably destroj^ed. 
Sebastiano Becivenni of Mercatello, was celebrated as 
a decorative sculptor, and his dexterity is attested by two 
pulpits in the duomo at Arezzo, dated 1563. In 1581, 
Francesco Maria II. commissioned two small statues from 
John of Bologna, and in the following year his minister at 
Rome wrote, proposing to send him a miniature painter 
from thence, at a monthly salary of ten golden scudi, 
besides board and travelling expenses. Late in life, he 
had his own and his father's portraits executed in mosaic 
by Luigi Gaetano at Venice. The statue of Duke Federigo, 
which we have already mentioned as modelled by Baroccio, 
was executed for this Duke by Girolamo Campagna of 
Venice, and one of his grandfather, attired as a Roman 
warrior, leaning on his baton of command, and resting 
upon a stump, was the work of Giovanni Bandini of 
Florence, an eminent scholar of Bandinelli. After his 


sovereignty had virtually passed from the bereaved Duke, 
he disposed of this memorial of its brighter days in a 
touching letter to the Doge of Venice, which finely 
illustrates the resignation beautifully exemplified in all the 
correspondence of his latter years : — 

" Most serene Prince, 

" My grandfather, the Lord Duke Francesco Maria, was 
during life honoured by your serene state with such high 
authority and dignities, that, even after his decease, its 
esteem and favour have ever been specially exhibited 
towards his posterity and race ; in these, now about to 
close in my person, your Highness will lose a line of 
supporters whose services are well known to you. Yet, 
being unwilling that these good offices should pass entirely 
from memory, I have resolved to present to the serene 
Republic and your Highness, the statue which I erected in 
testimony of dutiful respect to my said grandfather ; for 
nowhere can it be more fittingly placed than in your re- 
nowned city. I therefore herewith send it to you, and 
with the more pleasure from knowing that your state will 
gladly receive the portrait of one who so faithfully served 
it, and who, though no longer able to do so directly, will, 
virtually and by example, demonstrate how your Republic 
ought to be served. It will, at all events, afford irrefragable 
evidence of his attachment to that cause for which he 
would have desired longer life, and will prove a sure token 
of my unbounded devotion to your Highness, which, indeed, 
I cannot more fittingly demonstrate : beseeching, how- 
ever, that your Highness will regard this act as a solemn 
testimony of the old and continued love of my house for 
your distinguished state, which God preserve as long as 
my unbounded wishes ; and so I kiss your Highness's 
hands with devoted affection. 

" Your Highness's most devoted son and servant, 
" Francesco Maria della Rovere, Duke.^ 

"From Castel Durante, this . . ., 1625." 

1 Carteggio cP Artisti, vol. III., 540. 
III.— 2 D 


The statue now stands in the court of the Doge's ducal 
palace, thus inscribed : " To Francesco Maria I., Duke of 
Urbino, leader of the armies of this Republic ; erected at 
Pesaro, and recommended to the affectionate care of 
Venice by Francesco Maria II., when bereaved of progeny." 
The original inscription ran thus : " To Francesco Maria, 
an eminent general, leader of the armies of the holy Rom- 
ish Church, the Florentine republic, the Venetian state, 
and the princes of the League against the Turks, and of 
his own troops ; the conqueror, subduer, and sustainer of 
potentates at home and abroad ; his grandson, Duke Fran- 
cesco Maria II. had this erected." 


Of the manufacture of majolica in the Duchy of Urbino. 

THE influence of beauty upon arts usually 
considered as mechanical, and the exercise 
of creative talent upon substances of a 
common or trifling character, are equally 
proofs of a pervading refinement. It was accordingly a 
striking feature of Italy in her golden days, that nearly 
every sort of handiwork felt that influence, and in its turn 
served to maintain public taste at an elevated standard. 
To uncultivated or unobservant minds it may seem ri- 
diculous to appreciate the state of high art in a country 
from the forms of culinary utensils, the colouring of plates, 
or the carving of a peach-stone ; yet the elegance of 
Etruscan civilisation is nowhere more manifest than in 
household bronzes ; the majolica of Urbino has preserved 
the designs and the feeling of Raffaele ; the genius of 
Cellini did not spurn the most homely materials. The 
architects of the Revival were often sculptors; its engineers 
constructed clocks ; while painters then exercised the 
crafts of jewellery and wood-gilding, or lent their pencils 
to beautify the potter's handiwork. Our undertaking 
would accordingly be incomplete without some notice of 
majolica, or decorative pottery, which under the patronage 
of her princes brought fame and wealth to the duchy of 

' We have had frequent occasion to notice the encouragement given at 
Urbino to the exact sciences, and the consequent success of those arts most 
depending upon them. Thus the Baroecio family were celebrated for the 



The earliest work on the ceramic art is that of Giam- 
battista Passeri of Pesaro, who was born about a hundred 
and fifty years since, and whose inquiries into geology and 
antiquities attracted him to a subject cognate to them 
both. While studying the fossils of Central Italy, the 
transition was not difficult to their fictile products ; and 
after vainly endeavouring to methodise the pottery of 
Etruria and Magna Grecia, he tried the same good office 
with better success upon the majolica of his native pro- 
vince.^ Nor is his theme of so narrow an interest as 
might on a superficial view be supposed. The existence 
of pottery has frequently proved a valuable aid to 
historical research ; and even now our surest test of 
Etruscan refinement is supplied by the painted vases ex- 
accuracy of their mathematical instruments and timepieces, while watchmaking 
attracted great attention from all the della Rovere dukes. Their family portraits 
very generally exhibit a table-clock of some eccentric form, and their gifts 
to princes and royal personages were often chronometers made in their state. 
One of these, sent to Pius V., exhibited the planetary movements and other 
complex revolutions of the solar system ; another, worn by his Holiness in a 
ring, marked the hours by gently pricking his finger. In 153S, Francesco 
Maria I. presented to Charles V., at Naples, a ring wherein a watch struck 
the hours ; and many similar notices occur in the correspondence of his grand- 
son, the last Duke. Guidobaldo II. was especially fond of such mechanical 
curiosities. Having received from one Giovan Giorgio Capobianco of Vicenza, 
the Praxiteles of tiny chiselling, a ring which held a watch, whereupon were 
engraved the signs of the zodiac, with a figure that pointed to and struck the 
hours — he interfered to save the artist's life, when condemned to death for an 
assassination at Venice. In gratitude for this favour, the latter made for the 
Duchess a silver chessboard contained in a cherry-stone ; nor should we omit 
to add that he displayed the same ingenuity on a wider field as an architect 
and engineer. So, too, Filippo Santacroce, of Urbino, and his sons, are 
celebrated by Count Cicognara for their minute carvings on gems, ivory, and 

^ The subject has since met with more attention, but no other work has 
been expressly dedicated to it. We may refer to Vasari, Lanzi, and Gave, 
passim; 'R.icci, Notizie ddle Belle Arti in Gnhbio ; Kuiistblalt, No. 51; 
Montanari, Lettera interno ad alciine MajoUche dipinte nella collezione 
Massain Gioruale Arcadicodi Ro»ia,XXXVll., 333; Brongniart, Trait e des 
Arts Ceraniiques ; Marryat, History of Pottery and Porcelain. It is both 
an advantage and a pleasure to refer readers unacquainted with this interesting 
art, to the charming and accurate representations of azulejo, Robbian ware, 
and majolica, given in the last of these works. It is greatly to be desired 
that Mr. Marryat may, in continuation of his subject, and with access to 
English collections unknown to me, supply much information which this slight 
sketch cannot include. 

.1 plate of U rhino waie of about 1540 in the British .Mitseinii 


humed from the sepulchres of an almost forgotten race.i 
It is not, however, important merely as affording land- 
marks useful in tracing the civilisation of nations ; for, by 
combining taste with ingenuity, it gives to materials the 
most ordinary and almost fabulous value, thereby con- 
stituting one of the notable triumphs of mind over matter, 
and largely promoting the advance of intellectual culture. 
Even in early stages of national improvement, the plastic 
art, after contributing to the necessities of life, has often 
been the first to inspire elegance or embody true principles 
of form and afterwards of colour. Dealing with a substance 
readily found and easily manipulated, wherein nature 
might be imitated or fancy developed, it was the precursor 
of sculpture, the patron of painting, and the handmaid of 

The earthenware made in Central Italy was usually 
called majolica, in our spelling maiolica. The derivation 
of its etymology, from the island of Majorca, seems no 
mere superficial inference from similarity of sounds. Its 
peculiarity was a glaze, which, besides giving a vehicle for 
colour, remedied the permeable quality of ancient pottery. 
Such a glazed surface had long been known to the 
Saracens, and was imported by the Moors into Spain and 
the Balearic Isles, in the shape of gaily-tinted tiles, 
arranged in bands or diaper on their buildings. To these 
succeeded azulejos, generally of blue in various shades, 
which were mosaicked into church walls in various histori- 

^ We enter not upon the contested question of the origin of these produc- 
tions; wherever made, they prove the taste of those who owned and 
appreciated them. Besides, the ruder varieties were certainly indigenous to 
Central Italy from an early period. Neither need we trace the analogy 
between majolica and enamel. The latter was not unknown to the ancients, 
though brought by them to no ornamental perfection. During the dark ages, 
it was used as an accessory of metal sculpture for many purposes of religious 
art, and was even introduced into large works, such as bronze doors. The 
splendid reliquary at Orvieto, enamelled on silver at Siena by Ugolino Vieri 
in 1338, as well as the pa/iof/i oi Florence and Pistoja executed in that and 
the following centuries, show to what perfection this art had attained, ere the 
painting of porcelain was practised in Italy. 


cal compositions, from designs which Mr. Stirling ascribes 
to Murillo's pencil. The conquests or commerce of the 
Pisans imported this fashion, at first by incorporating con- 
cave coloured tiles among brickwork, afterwards, at Pesaro, 
by the use of encaustic flooring. Nor can we exclude from 
view that the earliest Italian ware has decorations either 
in geometrical patterns, or with shamrock-shaped foliations 
of a character rather Saracenic than indigenous, and more 
indicative of moresque extraction than were the apocry- 
phal armorial bearings of Spain and Majorca, at a period 
when such insignia were often borrowed as mere ornaments, 
in ignorance of their origin and meaning. The fabric thus 
introduced spread over most of Central Italy, and between 
1450 and 1700 was largely practised at the towns of 
Arezzo, Perugia, Spello, Nocera, Citta di Castello, Florence, 
Bologna, Ferrara, Ravenna, Rimini, Forli, and Faenza 
(whence its French name fayence), Pesaro, Urbino, Fer- 
mignano, Castel Durante, and Gubbio, as well as at 
various places in the Abruzzi. 

There is, however, another quarter to which vitrified or 
encaustic ware may be ascribed, in so far at least as 
regards improved methods and more important results. 
Luca della Robbia* ^ was born at Florence in 1399, and 
from being a jeweller, took to modelling statues and bas- 
reliefs in clay. Annoyed by the fragile nature of these, 
and perhaps by the doubtful success of terra cotta, he dis- 
covered a mode of glazing the surface of his beautiful 
works, with, it is said, a mixture of tin, terra ghetta (from 
the lake of Thrasimene), antimony, and other mineral 
substances. The secret of this varnish was transmitted in 
the inventor's family until about 1550: it ended in a 
female, with whose husband, Andrea Benedetto Buglione, 
it died. Recent attempts to revive the art at Florence 
have proved but partially successful, and wholly unre- 
al For all that concerns the Della Robbia, cf. Maud Cruttwell, Luca 
and Andrea della Robbia and their School (Dent, 1904). 


munerative ; indeed, the mechanical difficulties exceed 
those of sculpture, including the separation of the work 
into sections before drying and burning it, and its eventual 
reunion into one piece. Although neither mild nor equal, 
the climate at Florence does not seem to influence the 
Robbian fabrics in the open air, but they have suffered 
from the frosts and snows of our duchy, where several are 
broken or blistered, such as the lunette of S. Domenico at 
Urbino. By much the finest specimen I know there 
remains [1843] in the desecrated oratory of the Sforzan 
palace [of 1484] at Gradara ; it may be by Andrea della 
Robbia, and represents an enthroned Madonna and Child, 
nearly life-size, with attendant saints, the predella com- 
plete, and the whole a fine monument of Christian art. 
Originally, the plastic surface of Robbian ware was of a 
uniform glistening white, which, though cold in effect, is 
very favourable to the pure religious sentiment at which it 
generally aimed. The eyes were then blackened, in order 
to aid expression. Next, the pallid figures were relieved 
against a deep cerulean ground. The followers of Luca 
added fruits and flowers, wreathed in their proper colours. 
Agincourt justly regrets that these men were led into such 
innovations by a desire for mastering difficulties, and the 
ambition of adding to sculpture the beauties of painting ; 
for when colour is given to draperies, the eye is ill-reconciled 
to an addition which seems to transfer such productions 
from the category of high art to the level of waxwork. By 
a further modification, the flesh parts were left unglazed, 
bringing the warm tone of terra cotta to harmonize with 
the coloured costumes, architecture and backgrounds being 
still usually white or deep blue. Passed, however, asserts 
for this coloured glaze an earlier discovery in his own 
province, where pottery was certainly made in the four- 
teenth century. But it is generally admitted that the art 
of combining with it lively colours was greatly improved 
after Pesaro had passed under the Sforza. In 1462, 


Ventura di Maestro Simone dei Piccolomini of Siena 
established himself there, along with Matteo di Raniere, 
of a noble family at Cagli, in order to manufacture earthen- 
ware, and may have directed attention to the productions 
of della Robbia, who had already been employed at 
Rimini by its tyrant, Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta. 

An account of majolica*^ ought to contain the various 
places noted for its manufacture, the peculiar qualities 
distinguishing their respective productions, the methods 
by which these qualities were given, and the artists most 
successful in producing them. But on most of these 
points we are left in great ignorance, which my limited 
observation has not enabled me to dispel. All I can offer 
is a list of the manufactories and artists, classed to the 
best of my power, and preceded by a few very general 
notices of the process. 

The Chevalier Cipriano Picolpasso, of Castel Durante, 
doctor in medicine and majolica-painter under Duke 
Guidobaldo II., left a MS. professing to record the secrets 
of his art ; but Passeri, after examination, pronounces his 
revelations trite, and his historical notices barren. It is, 
however, agreed that Pesaro was the first site within the 
duchy of Urbino where the fabric attained celebrity, and 
that its earliest efforts were called mezza or "half" 
majolica. This is distinguished by a coarse gritty fracture, 
of dirty grey colour, and a glaze which does not take 
much lustre or transparency. It is generally in the form 
of plates, many of them huge, all clumsily thick, and 
frequently of a dingy, ill-vitrified yellow on the back. The 
lustre on the front is rather pearly than metallic ; but 
prismatic, or even golden, iridescence is met with. These 
productions are assigned, by Passeri and others, to the 
fifteenth century ; but the arms of Leo X. appear on one 

*^ The finest collection of Italian majolica in the world is probably that 
in Pesaro in the possession of the Municipality. 


A plate of Cartel Durante ware 0/ about 1324 

" The divine and beautiful Lucia " 



in the mediaeval exhibition of 1850 (No. 543, belonging to 
Mr. S. Isaacs), and on another in the Hotel Cluny, at 
Paris ; while, in the museum of the Commendatore Kestner, 
Hanoverian minister at Rome, is a third, designed after 
Marc Antonio. The " fine " majolica attained its greatest 
perfection at Urbino between 1530 and 1560, and it was 
prized chiefly for the perfect vitrification and transparency 
of its varnish, the comparative thinness and whiteness of 
the texture, the brilliant colouring, and masterly design. 
Gubbian pottery combined in some degree the qualities of 
half and fine ware, but excelled all others in metallic and 
prismatic glaze. 

We shall not encumber our pages with conjectural or 
vague hints as to the processes of these interesting fabrics. 
Iridescent lustre obliquely reflected, and a white glaze of 
dazzling transparency, were the objects respectively aimed 
at. The former was attained by preparations of lead, 
copper, silver, and gold ; the latter was imparted by 
dipping the half-baked pottery into a white varnish, over 
which, while moist, the subject was rapidly painted, cor- 
rection or retouching being incompatible with the imme- 
diate absorption of its colours, which, apart from 
accidental fusion of tints, and flaws in the furnace, 
abundantly accounts for the frequent inaccuracy of design. 
The metallic lustre depended a good deal on lead, the 
whiteness on a free use of tin. 

Those early plates of Pesaro were very rarely signed by 
their artists ; but one in the Hague Museum bears a 
cipher resembling C. H. O. N., whilst another, quoted by 
Pungileoni, has a mark composed of G. A. T. interlaced. 
In 1478, Sixtus IV. wrote his acknowledgments to 
Costanzo Sforza for a present of " Vasa fictilia, most 
elegantly wrought, which, for the donor's sake, are prized 
as if of gold or silver rather than of earthenware." ^ In 
a similar letter, Lorenzo the Magnificent thanked 

^ Archiv. Dipl. Urbinate at Florence [1845]. 


[Roberto] Malatesta, observing that " they please me 
entirely by their perfections and rarity, being quite 
novelties in these parts, and are valued more than if of 
silver," the donor's arms serving daily to recall their 
origin.i Passeri gives a curious proclamation by the 
Lord of Pesaro, in i486, narrating that, for good favour to 
the citizens, and considering a fabric of earthen vases to 
have been of old practised in that city, superior, by 
general admission, to all others produced in Italy, and 
that there were now more workshops than ever, — importa- 
tion of any species thereof from foreign parts was pro- 
hibited, on pain of confiscation and fine, half to the 
informer, oil and water jars only excepted ; and further 
that, within eight days, all foreign vases should be sent 
out of the state. In 15 10, majolica was numbered among 
the trades of Pesaro, and in 1532, Duke Francesco Maria 
confirmed the protection for it which we have just cited. 
I have not met with the patent for " application of gold to 
Italian faience," quoted by Mr. H. Rogers as granted, in 
1 509, to Giacomo Lanfranco of Pesaro, by Duke Guido- 
baldo, who, by the way, was then dead. 

It may have been soon after this date that " fine" super- 
seded " half" ware in the potteries of Pesaro, where the 
art obtained a new stimulus on transference hither of the 
court by Duke Guidobaldo II. Thereafter it is impossible 
to distinguish earthenware issuing from these establish- 
ments from that of Urbino, their quality being similar, 
and the artists in many cases identical ; but by that 
Prince's patronage it unquestionably attained its greatest 
perfection. A petition by certain makers of Pesaro for 
protection, is given in X. of the Appendix, as illus- 
trating then received principles of trade, as well as of this 
fabric. It bears date in 1552; and in 1569, the Duke 

^ Gave, Carleggio, I., p. 304. He was probably Roberto Malatesta, who 
served the Florentines in 1479, and died 1482 ; so Gaye's date of 1490 seems 



granted to Giacomo Lanfranco, of that city, a patent for 
twenty-five years, guarded by 500 scudi of penalty, for his 
inventions in applying gold to vases, and in constructing 
them of great size (exceeding the capacity of two soiHe),oi 
antique forms, and wrought in relievo. As a further en- 
couragement, he and his father Girolamo were exempted 
from every impost or tax, and from mill-dues on grinding 
ten sofne of grain annually. Proud of the reputation of 
his native pottery, Guidobaldo was in the habit of present- 
ing services of majolica to foreign princes and personages, 
who again often sent commissions to be executed in the 
duchy, bearing their arms. A double service was, accord- 
ing to Vasari, given by him to Charles V. ; and another to 
Philip II., painted by Orazio Fontana from Taddeo 
Zuccaro's designs ; while Passeri mentions a set presented 
to Fra Andrea of Volterra, each piece inscribed G. V. V. D. 
\Guid Vbaldonis Urbini Ducis] Mumts, F. Andrecz 
Volaterano. I found in the Oliveriana MSS. a letter 
addressed to his brother the Cardinal of Urbino, de- 
scribing a buffet for Monsignor Farnese, with its inventory, 
which will be found at XI. of the Appendix. The 
most important, however, of the ducal commissions was a 
very numerous set of jars, of many sizes and shapes, for 
the use of his laboratory \spezeria\ a fashion imitated by 
other dilettanti. Blue, yellow, and green are their prevail- 
ing hues ; they are always labelled with the name of some 
drug or mixture, and occasionally have a portrait or other 
subject. The original set was gifted by Francesco Maria II. 
to the treasury of Loreto, where about three hundred and 
eighty of them still serve their original purpose, many 
duplicates being met with in collections. Specimens will 
be found engraved by Bartoli, and in Mr. Marryat's 
beautiful volume ; the offers of various crowned heads 
to replace them by others of gold and silver, are well- 
known travellers' tales, but in truth they are far from 
choice specimens. 


Like other branches of fine art, majolica-painting 
showed an early preference for sacred themes ; but the 
primitive plates of Pesaro bear effigies of saints much 
more frequently than scripture histories, or doctrinal repre- 
sentations. Then came in a fashion for portraits of living 
or historical persons, including warriors, high-born dames, 
and classical heroes, inscribed with their names. These 
paintings are all flat and lifeless, with scarcely an attempt 
at relief, or graduated tints ; the ornaments are rude, 
inclining to Moorish, and totally different from what is 
called arabesque. From the della Robbian influence were 
probably borrowed plates brimming with coloured fruits 
in relievo, a variety of little interest, but reminding us of 
similar French productions in a later period. In the 
sixteenth century, the mania of classicism, elsewhere 
discussed,^ much affected majolica; and in its designs, 
although events of the Old Testament were not abandoned, 
saintly legends gave place to scenes from Ovid and Virgil. 
For behoof of the unlettered curious, the incident was 
shortly, often clumsily, described in blue letters on the 
back, with a reference to the text. In a few cases 
(perhaps of amatorii or nuptial gifts), I have found the 
very finest productions degraded by grossly indecent 
designs ; in more numerous ones groups of nude figures 
disport themselves in the manner of Giulio Romano. 
Those in which Raffaelesque arabesques prevail, belong 
chiefly to the latter portion of Guidobaldo's reign. From 
that time the fabric decayed rapidly, owing partly to a 
general decline of aesthetic taste, partly to the impaired 
state of that Duke's finances, and the indifference of his 
successor. Even after historical compositions were neg- 
lected, considerable dexterity was displayed in painting 
trophies, arms, musical instruments, utensils, marine 
monsters, children, grotesques, birds, trees, flowers, fruits, 
and landscapes, designs of that class being easily repeated 

^ See vol. II. 

A plate of Urbino ware abotit 1535. (The arms are Catdinat Pucci's) 


and their inaccuracies passing for studied extravagance. 
But the drawing got worse, the colouring more feeble, as 
good artists dropped off, carrying with them their sketches, 
and superseded by engravings from Sadeler and other 
Flemings, whose vile taste contributed to lower the 
standard of better times.^ Public favour, ever capricious, 
was successfully wooed by the oriental porcelain, which 
now found its way among the higher ranks, while the 
augmented supply of silver encouraged a more extended 
use of plate. Thus discredited, the manufacture progres- 
sively deteriorated, until, in 1722, the stoneware of Urbania 
was of the most ordinary description, the efforts of 
Cardinal Legate Stoppani to reinstate a better fabric 
having totally failed ; and thus neglected, the most 
beautiful productions of its happier time were dispersed, 
or passed to the meanest uses, from which another whim 
of fashion, as much as the revival of a better taste, has 
suddenly rescued them. 

Much of what has been said of the fine majolica of 
Pesaro is applicable to that ascribed to Urbino, most of 
which appears to have been made in the neighbouring 
towns of Fermignano, Gaifa, and Castel Durante (now 
Urbania), the alluvial washings of the Metauro being 
peculiarly adapted for the purest white glaze. Yet 
Pungileoni has wormed out of some old notorial protocols 
the names of M°. Giovanni di Donnino in 1477, and of 
M"'. Francesco in 1501, both designed of Gardutia, potters 
(figidi) at Urbino. He also establishes that coloured 
figures were executed there in vases in 1521. Passeri 
denies that those ruby and gold colours for which we shall 
find Gubbio celebrated, and which certainly were known in 
the workshops of Pesaro, ever came into use at Urbino, — 
a conclusion which we shall have occasion to correct. 

^ In 1845, the Canon Staccoli at Urbino showed me a plate equally feeble 
in design and colour, signed F. M. Doiz Fiamengo fecit, a proof that it was 
no despised production of the time. 


Indeed, this secret of metallic iridescence is said to have 
been known at Florence, and I have seen a plate of golden 
lustre bearing the emblem of the woolstaplers' guild [arte 
della lana] ; but if such manufactory existed, I have found 
no notice of it, and the still flourishing one of Ginori in the 
Val d' Arno pretends to no such antiquity. I was shown 
at Florence a tile, on which Annibale Caracci's Galatea 
was represented with great accuracy of design, but poor 
and hard in colour, signed ^^ Ferdinand Campani, Siena, 
1716." In the latter town there is said to have been a 
fabric known by the name of Terchi ; the analogous one, 
near Fermo, in the Abruzzi, called Grue, sent forth, I 
believe, most of those tiles, small plates, or cups and 
saucers, — ornamented with landscapes of tolerable design, 
but tinted in sickly yellow or blue, and totally devoid of 
style, — which abound in Lower Italy. 

The prismatic glaze,especiallyof gold and ruby colour, was 
unequalled in those plates painted at Gubbio by Maestro 
Giorgio Andreoli, who appears to have come hither from 
Pavia with his brothers Salimbeni and Giovanni. His 
name was there enrolled among the nobility in 1498, but 
the dates affixed to his plates extend from 15 18 to about 
1537. He had previously executed several plastic works 
of the nature of della Robbia's figures, the principal of 
which was a Madonna del Rosario altar-piece for the 
Domenican church, which has been enthusiastically de- 
scribed in No. 928 of the London AthencEum. It was 
torn down by the French in their wonted course of rapine, 
and, to the disgrace of the local authorities of Gubbio, lay 
neglected for several years after the peace, until purchased 
for the Steidl Institut at Frankfort. The only other of 
his productions remaining at Gubbio is a life-sized statue 
of St. Anthony in the same church, quite inferior as 
regards design and religious feeling to those of the 
Tuscan sculptors, and which, though coloured, has no 
metallic lustre. He is said by Passeri to have lived until 


1552 ; and of his family, who long occupied an honourable 
station in their native city, only a son, Cencio, followed 
his father's profession. I have seen a plate of this school 
at Mr. Forrest's, 54 Strand [1850], rudely signed with G ; 
others have R, perhaps il Rovigese, whom I shall presently 
mention. M°. Prestino da Gubbio wrought about i557. 
but the latest date I have seen with metallic lustre and 
the Gubbian mark is 1549, on which the iridescence was 
extremely feeble. 

Passeri's assertion, that the Gubbian glaze was borrowed 
from the half-majolica of Pesaro, may be correct ; but we 
might, perhaps, maintain for it a date as early as 1474, on 
the authority of a beautiful small plate possessing its 
peculiarities, and exhibiting Duke Federigo's name and 
profile in relief, within a coloured border of oak-leaves 
also in rehef, made, possibly, on occasion of his alliance 
with the della Rovere, by marriage of the Lord Prefect 
with his daughter in that year. This interesting memorial 
is No. 2286 of the Mediaeval Gallery at the Louvre. In 
Mr. Marryat's choice cabinet is a half- ware plate, bearing 
on the back a monogram, which that gentleman supposes 
of Maestro Giorgio's early period, before he had discovered 
the mode of obtaining iridescent varnishes. It displays a 
group of nude figures in pale greyish tints, without any 
approach to brilliant colouring. His usual signature was 
dashed off with a metalliferous brush on the back, M". G". 
da Vgubio, with the date, as at No. 1 1 of the same fac- 
similes, from a plate in my possession. Such pieces are 
rare, and highly prized ; their subjects are usually saints, 
classical groups, or grotesques, vases being v'ery seldom met 
with. A branch of this fabric is said to have been seated 
at Nocera ; and several, with bright red and blue tracery 
on a gold metallic ground, dated 1537-8, in the choice 
cabinet of Signor Serafino Tordelli at Spoleto [1845], ^^^ 
supposed by him of that fabric. Among other exquisite 
specimens, he has one by Maestro Giorgio, 1529, rival- 


ling the finest miniature, and representing Archimedes 
measuring a globe, in front of the Communal Palace at 

Thus much regarding the various manufactories of 
majolica connected with Urbino. The forms and purposes 
to which it was turned were very various. The first plates 
of Pesaro, chiefly of great size [dadlz], were probably for 
table use, but a variety of them, called amatorii, were 
either tender souvenirs or marriage gifts. These usually 
had the lady's portrait, with the complimentary epithet of 
Bella, as in this example now in my possession ; at other 
times united hands and a transfixed heart, with a motto 
of affection, moralising, or banter. Several such have 
been described by Passeri, Marryat, and others, but I 
shall add a few which have come under my observation. 
I . At Florence : Ff'ancesca bella a paragon di tutti, 
" Frances, of beauty comparable to any one." 2. At 
Rome : Nemo sua sorte contentus erat, " Each has some- 
thing to grumble about." 3. Sir Thomas B. Hepburn ; 
a lady holding a gigantic pink : Nou e si vago el fiore che 
non vnbiacca casca, " There is no flower so lovely but 
fades or droops." 4. Rome ; a dame of rueful counten- 
ance : Sola miseria caret invidia, " Only the miserable 
escape envy." 5. Pesaro, Massa collection : Per doruiire 
non si acquista, " The indolent get nothing." 6. Florence : 
C/ii bieji guida sua barcha sejupre emporto, " Who steers 
well his bark, always makes the harbour." 7. Pesaro : — 

5' il dono e picolo e di pocho zmlore, 
Bast a lafedelpovere se redore. 

" If small the gift and scant of merit 
A poor slave's faith, — enough, you share it.''' 

^ The rules of syntax are in these often overstepped, and conjecture left 
to eke out the sense. My reading is literal, of basta lafe del povet-e sevedore, 
which is intelligible, and rhymes, as is not the case with basta iafede, e I 
poz>ere se vedo, the version of Passeri. This author tells us of a certain coy 
or mischievous Philomela who pierced her lover's present with holes and 


Plate of Cartel Durante ware about 1540, 7uith a portrait medallion luithin a border 

of oak leaves. This pattern 7vas called "'Cerguata " or " al Urbinata," the oak being 

the badge 0/ the Rovere house 


8, 9. Florence, and evidently nuptial presents : Per fin 
che vivo, io sempre f amero, " While I live, you I love " ; 
the other, a bridegroom and bride exchanging a hearty 
kiss. Most of these portrait-plates were deep, and are 
said not to have been delivered empty. Brides received 
them brimming with jewels ; for dancing partners they 
were filled with fruits and confections ; to a lady in child- 
bed was presented a salver containing the sort of chamber 
service called in French a dejeiiner de maric^ appropriately 
decorated with infant legends of gods and heroes ; at 
children's balls, were given tiny plates of sugar-plums, 
whereon a dancing Cupid sounding his cymbal was often 
painted. 10. Massa collection, — this has a sadder im- 
port : Un bel inorire tiitta la vita onora, " A beautiful 
death confers illustration on a lifetime," was, no doubt, in 
memory of some venerated friend, and might have been 
used to serve her funeral meats. ^ 

made of it a mouse-trap ! Also of an exquisite Gubbian plate, portraying 
the Daniella Diva, who displays a wounded heart with the legend Oi?ne ! 
"Ah me." A drug-bottle in Mr. Marryat's collection, and engraved in his 
work, has the portrait of a lady whose squint is given to the life. 

^ In order to finish our notice of mottoes, a few others may be here 
added, ii. Massa collection; a female portrait, on whose breast are the 
arms of Montefeltro : Viva, Viva il Duca di Urbiiio. 12. Rome, Kestner 
Museum ; another female portrait : Ibit ad geminos huida fania polio (?). 
13. Kestner Museum and that at the Hague; St. Thomas probing the 
Saviour's wound : Beati qui nan viderunt et credideriint, ' ' Blessed are they 
that have not seen, and yet have believed." 14. Spoleto, Tordelli collec- 
tion ; a beautiful female resisting a crowd of armed soldiery: 1540. Italia 
niesta sottosopra volta, como pei venti in 7)iarc Ictorbid oudt:, cK or da una 
parte et hor da r ultra volta. "1540. Dejected Italy, tossed like the wind- 
lashed waves, turning now hither now thither." 15. Rome, — satire on the 
sack of Rome ; a warrior in antique armour strikes with a two-handed 
sword at a naked woman stretched in a lascivious posture, behind whom five 
others tremblingly await their fate : it is inscribed behind. 1534. Rojtia 
lasciva dal buon Carlo quinto pa)-tita a mezza. Fra Xanto a. da Rovigo, 
Urbino. " Rome, the wanton, cut up by the good Charles V. ; by Brother 
Xante of Rovigo, at Urbino." This plate, glowing with iridescence, con- 
tradicts Passeri's opinion (already quoted) that stanniferous glaze was never 
practised in the Urbino workshops, as does the tile introduced three pages 
below. 16. Rome ; a grandly draped female, sitting in desolation over a 
dead child: Fioretizo mesta i niorti figlii piange, "Disconsolate Florence 
weeps for her lifeless offspring," in the plague visitation of 153^- Though 
with the most brilliant ruby and gold lustre I ever saw, it has in blue the 
cipher X, probably also of Xante in Urbino. 

III. — 2 E 


But to return to the uses of this pottery. Those who 
have observed the rich effect of the majolica sparingly 
displayed in the late Mediaeval Exhibition at the Adelphi 
[1850] may readily admit that, on a buffet lit up by 
Italian suns, its glowing tints and attractive forms were 
no mean substitute for the as yet scarce precious metals. 
Ingenuity was taxed to invent designs and adaptations 
of an art in which fashion ran riot : — Tiles for floors or 
panelling ; vases of mere ornament ; beakers ; epergnes ; 
wine-coolers ; perfume-sprinklers ; fountains, whence there 
flowed alternately, as if by magic, water or wine of 
nine varieties at the bidding of the bewildered guests ; 
wine-cups clustered with grapes, through an orifice in 
which the liquor was sucked, anticipating the American 
device for discussing sherry-cobbler. Of drug-bottles and 
pots we have spoken. Sauce-boats, salt-cellars, and ink- 
stands gave rise to endless caprices, in the guise " of 
beasts, and of fowl and fishes " ; and to these may be 
added figure-groups of saints, grotesque characters and 
animals, fruits, trees, and pilgrims' bottles. 

In the decorations there was generally a consistency, 
too often lost sight of by modern artificers. Thus, toilet- 
basins were painted with marine deities, water-nymphs, or 
aquatic allegories ; fruit-stands with fruit and vintages ; 
wine-cups with vine-festoons. Among the oddities may be 
mentioned tiny tea-cups, into the paste for which was 
mingled a portion of dust carefully gathered in sweeping 
out the holy house at Loreto, their sanctity being vouched 
by the inscription. Con pol. di S. C, "With dust from the 
Santa Casa." The effigy of the Madonna of Loreto is 
often affixed, in colour and design on a par with the super- 
stition. A pair of these was shown at the Mediaeval 
Exhibition of 1850, No. 562 of the catalogue, belonging to 
a Mrs. Palliser. 

Having thus considered the various sites and sorts of 


Urbino majolica, its processes and purposes, we shall 
mention some of the artists employed upon it. Of these 
there were two classes, the potter who mixed and mani- 
pulated, modelled and moulded clay-clod into an article of 
convenience or luxury, and the painter whose pencil 
rendered it an object of the fine arts; latterly, however, 
these branches were combined, and were carried on by a 
class of artificers caller vasaii or vasari, and boccalmi, 
according as vases or bottles prevailed in their workshops. 
The little that has come to our knowledge regarding 
those by whom the early Pesarese and Gubbian ware was 
fashioned and decorated will be found in a former page. 
The latter makers of Pesaro and Urbino have more 
frequently left us the means of identifying their per- 
formances in monograms or signatures, usually inscribed 
in blue characters on the back of plates. But before con- 
sidering these, we may dispose of the vulgar error which 
has given Raffaele's name to Italian porcelain. Superficial 
or romancing writers have often seriously repeated, with 
purely fictitious additions, Malvasia's petulant sneer, which 
he was fain quickly to retract, that the great Sanzio was a 
painter of plates ; others have, without better grounds, 
made him assistant to his father, a potter. There is how- 
ever nothing connecting him with the ceramic art beyond 
a loose notice by Don V. Vittorio, in his Osservazioni 
Sopra Felsina Pittrice (pp. 44, 1 12-14), of a letter from 
Rafifaele referring to designs supplied by him to the 
Duchess for majolica. That he did supply such drawings 
is possible, though discredited by Pungileoni, and, if true, 
it in no way compromises his status, at a period when 
high art lent a willing hand to decorate and elevate the 
adjuncts and appliances of domestic life. This much is 
certain, that compositions emanating from Sanzio and his 
school were employed in ornamenting porcelain during the 
sixteenth century, but they were doubtless obtained from 
his pupils, or from the engravings of Marc Antonio. Such 


is the title here introduced from the original in my 
possession (8| inches by 7), which is one of the most 
Raffaelesque I have met with, and which, though not 
signed, displays the colouring practised by Fra Xanto, 
the blue and green being deep and well marked, the 
orange and yellow of the clouds and curtain in metallic 

In this, as in most instances, the design is somewhat 
marred by the colours having run when laid on, or during 
vitrification. The mistake as to Sanzio has been partly 
occasioned by confusion with Rafifaele del Colle, who 
painted at the Imperiale, and is said by tradition to have 
contributed sketches for the Pesarese workshops, and also 
with another Rafifaele Ciarla, who seems to have been a 
potter, about 1530-60. Battles, sieges, and mythological 
figures resembling the vigorous inventions of Guilio 
Romano, are not unfrequent; and in the Kestner Museum, 
I have observed several plates of choice design and 
Raffaelesque character, especially the Fall and Expulsion 
of our first Parents, and the Gathering of Manna. But 
these are satisfactorily accounted for by Paseri's statement, 
that, with a view to improve a native manufacture which 
brought to his state both estimation and wealth, Duke 
Guidobaldo II. took infinite pains in collecting a better 
class of drawings and prints from celebrated masters, on 
the dispersion of which, in consequence of their being 
sought for by collectors, the pictorial excellence of majolica 
rapidly declined. The first symptom of decay was the 
substitution of monotonous arabesques, weak in colour 
and repeated from the type introduced by Rafifaele, in 
place and figure groups and other subjects requiring com- 
position and design. 

Premising that we cannot now distinguish exactly 
between potters and the painters, where these cognate 
occupations chanced to be divided, and that the same 


persons occasionally wrought at various places in the 
duchy, we shall supply a notice of the names we have met 
with in connection with the workshops of Pesaro, Urbino, 
and Castel Durante, during the sixteenth century. 

Terenzio Terenzi painted vases and plates at Pesaro, 
one of which he signed "Terenzio fecit, 1550," but his 
usual mark was T. Another is inscribed, "Questo piatto fu 
fatto in la Bottega de Mastro Baldassare, Vasaro da Pesaro 
e fatto per mano de Ferenzio fiolo di Mastro Matteo Bocca- 
laro." He was doubtless the person who, under the surname 
of Rondolino, became notorious at Rome for his clever 
pictorial forgeries of the great master's works, although 
said by Ticozzi to have been born at Pesaro in 1570. The 
signature " Mastro Gironimo, Vasaro in Pesaro, J. P." 
occurs from 1542 to 1560, and to him Mr. Marryat 
ascribes, on what authority I know not, the mark A. O. 
connected by a cross, which Passeri quotes as of another 
artist in 1582; the letters I. P. that gentleman reads in 
Pesaro, This Girolamo Lanfranco was a native of 
Gabicce, near Pesaro, and died in 1599, leaving sons 
Girolamo and Ludovico. In his favour, and that of his 
son, were granted the privileges already referred to, as 
dated 1552 and 1569. 

In connection with the workshops of Urbino, we have 
these names. Giovanni and Francesco di Donnino had a 
commission for a set of vases for Cardinal Capaccio. Fra 
Xanto. a. da Rovigo in Urbino signed platters of great size 
and beautiful design, about 1532-4, some of which show a 
very fine metallic and prismatic lustre. The mark X, 
occurring on pieces of that quality, does not, however, 
always refer to him. A splendid plate in Mr. Marryat's 
rich collection, commemorative of the taking of Goletta, 
in Africa, by Charles V., is inscribed In Urbino nella botteg 
di Francesco de Silvano, X. mdxxxxi. ; and a Judith of 
great beauty, in the Tordelli cabinet, signed F. X. 1535, is, 
no doubt of that master. Contemporary and very analo- 


gous are plates with an iridescence rivalling that of 
Maestro Giorgio, signed Mastro Rovigo di Urbino, or Da 
Rovigiese : of this artist, probably the countryman of 
Xanto, we know nothing, but he may be the same who 
signs Gubbian plates with R. Equally little can we say as 
to Giulio of Urbino, who is mentioned as working for the 
Duke of Ferrara, about 1530; or of Cesare da Faenza, 
then employed in the shop of Guido Merlini, of Urbino. 
Much more noted are the Fontana family, originally of 
Castel Durante. From thence Guido, son of Nicolo, emi- 
grated to the capital, where his son Orazio painted many 
of the finest productions of the reign of Guidobaldo II., 
including the best vases of his laboratory, 
his usual mark being this, meaning Orazio 
Fontana Urbinate fece. Among the trea- 
sures and trash of Strawberry Hill was a 
very large vase, with serpent handles, and 
designs ascribed to Giulio Romano, in- 
scribed Fate in botega di Orazio Fontana} A plate de- 
scribed by Passeri, has the story of Horatius Codes, with the 
motto Orazio solo contra Toscana tntta,fatto in Pesaro 1541, 
which appears to be a jeu de mots intended by Fontana as 
a challenge to the rival fabrics of Tuscany.^ For him has 
been claimed the invention of Gubbian glaze ; while others 
say his discovery was a mode of preventing the mixture 
of colours during vitrification. He died in 1571, his 
labours having been shared by a brother Camillo, who 
carried the art to Ferrara, and a nephew Flaminio, who 
settled in Florence. 

Among the pupils of Orazio was Raffaele Ciarla, whose 
name we have noticed as confused with that of Raffaele 
Sanzio, and who painted a buffet of porcelain, after designs 

^ A magnificent pair of triangular fonts in the same collection brought at 
the sale i68/. 

^ The ancestors of Giorgio Vasari were surnamed from their occupation of 
vase-makers {vasari), at Arezzo. The Ginori establishment near Florence is 
comparatively modern. 


by Taddeo Zuccaro, which his sovereign presented to 
Philip II. of Spain. He wrought between 1530 and 1560. 
Gianbattista Franco, a Venetian painter of whom we have 
lately spoken, was invited by Duke Guidobaldo II., about 
1540, to supply designs for majolica, in consequence of his 
reputation for clever drawings in the dangerous style of 
Michael Angelo. The loss of his cupola for the cathedral 
at Urbino is not to be regretted ; but in a humbler sphere 
he acquitted himself better, and some of the vases in the 
laboratory bear his signature, B. F. V. F., Battista Franco 
Urbinas fecit. Among the latest artists was Alfonso 
Patanazzi, who was born at Urbino of a noble family, and 
died in 1694 ; but his productions (signed in full, or with 
his initials) have no artistic merit whatever. 

It remains to mention those who wrought chiefly at 
Castel Durante, or, as it was named after the Devolution 
to the Holy See, Urbania. The Chevalier Cipriano Picol- 
passo, from being a professor of the healing art, took to 
pottery about 1550, and left a MS. account of some of the 
secrets of that fabric and of its glazes, which was used 
by Passeri for his work. Mr. Marryat considers that he was 
peculiarly successful in painting trophies. Guido di Savino 
is said to have carried the art from Castel Durante to 
Antwerp ; and he or Guido Fontana may be author of a 
plate, in the Soane Museum, of the Fates, signed In botega 
di M". Guido Durantino in Urbino. To either of them 
I am disposed to assign the monogram. No. 12, of our 
1 8th plate of facsimiles, which Mr. Marryat reads as Castel 
Durante, but which seems to me a G. D., for Guido Duran- 
tino. Alessandro Gatti, of that place, had three brothers, 
Giovanni, Tiseo, and Luzio, whom Picolpasso mentions as 
having emigrated to Corfu, and there established the same 
fabric. Cardinal Stoppani, Legate of Pesaro, in last cen- 
tury, made some ineffectual attempts to restore the manu- 
facture at Urbania, and the only pottery now produced in 
the duchy is of the most ordinary white stoneware. It 


would be interesting to know the scale of remuneration 
for mere artistic varieties of majolica, but the prices given 
by Passeri, from Picolpasso's MS., refer only to the more 
ordinary and mechanical designs, such as grotesques with 
monsters, arabesques, trophies with armour, fruit, flowers, 
and foliage ; of these the first was the most costly, the last 
the cheapest, varying from two Roman scudi to about two 
and a half pauls per hundred. Supposing money in 1560 
to have been six times its present value in Italy, these 
sums may be considered equal to fifty shillings and six 
shillings respectively.^ 

In Italy, the collection of majolica made by the Cheva- 
lier Massa, at Pesaro, is specially worthy of notice, and 
contains specimens of most varieties made in the duchy. 
It was chiefly got together between 1825 and 1835 
when these were still abundant and little sought after ; 
but the district was nearly cleared of them about twelve 
years since, by an agent of Parisian dealers. The Cheva- 
lier, who was in extreme old age in 1845, had bequeathed 
his majolica — consisting of about five hundred pieces, with 
a few indifferent pictures — to his native town, unless he 
could, during life, sell the whole for about 1000/., destined 
by him to charitable purposes. Another numerous col- 
lection is that of Signor Mavorelli, at La Fratta, near 
Perugia. The small but choice cabinet of Signor Serafino 
Tordelli, at Spoleto, has already been mentioned. Speci- 
mens may still be picked up in Rome, Florence, Paris, and 
London ; but perhaps the most specimens are in the 
hands of English amateurs. 

^ Pungileoni quotes a demand made in 1683 of 50 scudi (about 11/.) for a 
plate reputed to have been painted by Raffaele ; this, at thrice the present 
money vahie, would give 32/. as its price. 




(Page 2i) 


THERE are several brieves preserved in the Archivio 
Diplomatico at Florence, affording evidence of the 
Pope's feeble and inconsistent policy. His missive, 
announcing to the Duke the truce with Lanoy, was 
dated the i6th of March, and was followed by one 
of the 20th of April, which we shall here translate : — 

To our beloved Son, the noble Francesco Maria, Duke of 
Urbino, Captain-general of the Venetians. 

Beloved Son, health and apostolic benediction ! 
We have written but once to your nobility since coming to 
this armistice with the enemy, for, matters not being yet fully 
settled, we had nothing certain to apprise you of. But we under- 
stood that, by the letters of our dear son and lieutenant, Francesco 
Guicciardini, you were already made aware of all we could have 
asked of you, and had by your own good conduct anticipated it, 
which is to us most pleasing and acceptable, and daily more 
realises our hopes of you. As to this suspension of arms, we 
stooped to it more readily from being destitute of means or 
assistance, and from measuring the inclinations of others by our 
own pacific dispositions. But now that our enemies' conduct 
seems rather to abuse our clemency and moderation than to 
approach any equitable course, we do not well see how we can 
safely come to any terms with them. Thus, induced by necessity, 
and by your worth and good will, as well as cheered by the entire 
justice of our cause, we desire to make your nobility aware that 



we have utterly dismissed from our mind all truce with adver- 
saries so perfidious, and are willing and ready rather to hazard 
any peril of war than submit to such unworthy and iniquitous 
conditions ; yet, believing victory much more imminent than 
danger, we trust that their obstinacy and insolence will be easily 
put down, provided your forces can timeously coalesce with our 
own, and you exercise all zeal and caution in effecting this. We 
therefore not only exhort your nobility to this, but we fully rely 
on your doing it, as matter at once of duty and propriety, and 
from your disposition in favour of the Italian liberties and the 
dignity of ourselves and this Holy See. We, on our part, shall 
maintain towards our beloved sons, the Venetian government, 
that firm attitude which shall satisfy all of our constancy, things 
being now come to such a pitch that we must either sink dis- 
honoured on failure of your aid and support, or by your help 
shall emerge with credit. As regards our paternal and affectionate 
concern for your personal dignity and interests, we can add 
nothing to the promises already made you by letters and envoys, 
which we shall amply carry out. Let your nobility, therefore, go 
on as you have so well begun, nor relax until we and you and 
all Italy be rid of all these barbarian excesses. After perusing 
these brieves, your nobility will forward them to the Doge and 
Signory of Venice, for, news of the enemy's obstinacy and faith- 
lessness reaching us by express at midnight, we had to write to 
your nobiUty before we could communicate anything to their 

Given at St. Peter's, Rome, under the fisher's signet, the 
20th April, 1527, in the fourth year of our pontificate. 


On the 22nd and 30th the Pope wrote again, but in general 
terms, and referring for details to the accredited bearer and to 
former despatches. He exhorted the Duke, in formal and 
measured phrase, to do his utmost towards fulfilling the expecta- 
tions reposed on him and the Venetians, upon whom were based 
all the Pontiffs hopes ; but neither in letter nor spirit do these 
brieves indicate any perception of the extreme hazards of his 


(Page 2i) 


I. Letter from the Bishop of Modula to the Gerierals 
of the League?- 

Most illustrious Lords of the League, 

Let your most illustrious Lordships speed on quickly without 

loss of time, seeing by these presents that the enemy have 

carried the Borgo, though our Lord and all Rome were well 

fortified. Monsignor de Bourbon is dead of an arquebus-shot 

below the abdomen, and a man has just come in who happened 

to aid in carrying off his body. More than three thousand of 

the enemy have fallen. Let your Lordships, then, press on, for 

the enemy are in the utmost disorder ; quickly, quickly, without 

loss of time. Your servant, 

' GuiDO, Bishop of Modula, 

From Viterbo, the 7th of May, 1527, 3 p.m. 
To the most illustrious Lords, the Duke of Urbino and 
the Marquis of Saluzzo, Captains of the League. 

II. Letter from Scipione . . . to Akssa?2dro Moresino, alias 
Venezianelio, Master of the Chamber of the Friftce Guido- 
baldo, dated at Urbino, 20th of May, 1527, ?iarrating the 
destruction of Rome. 

Most dear as an honoured brother, 
I wish I were fitter than at present, and more easy in mind, 
to write you of the strange, horrible, and atrocious event befallen 
the wretched, miserable, and ill-fated city of Rome. Although 

' Sanuto Diarii MSS. Bib. Marciana, xlv. f. 132. 

430 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. ii. 

I feel assured that, from different advices, you will have had 
partial, if not full accounts, nevertheless, that I may not fail in 
duty, I have thought it best to inform you of all I have yet 
heard, notwithstanding that I tell it with aching heart and 
tearful eye. 

I therefore inform you that eight days ago last Monday, being 
the 1 8th inst., about 22 o'clock [half-past 5 p.m.], the Spanish 
imperial army presented itself at the bastion of the gate. Their 
object was to make trial, and see how and by whom it was 
guarded, not having courage to attack ; but after consulting 
together, and deciding to assault, and even to make their way 
into the city, they took some food, and then suddenly and all 
in a mass attempted with furious impetuosity to force the bastion, 
which is said to have been ill guarded, there being but four 
thousand regular infantry in Rome. In this attack, both sides 
behaved with great bravery, and were supposed to have lost 
about one thousand men, including the flower of the Spaniards. 
Bourbon, observing the slaughter and immense confusion, 
rushed on with all the lansquenets. The castle maintained 
a fire of artillery as they best could ; but the air being obscured 
by a dense fog, they could not see the effect of it, and battered 
down a piece of wall.^ Through it, and by storming the bastion, 
the Imperialists entered, and there Bourbon met his death from 
an arquebus-shot, which passed quite through his belly. The 
papal troops, unable to offer more resistance, fled towards the 
castle, into which most of them were admitted, especially those 
who arrived first. It is rumoured, but not confirmed, that the 
Lord Stefano Colonna, who commanded the guard at that bastion, 
capitulated. Next day, being Tuesday, the enemy, though 
within the town, made no aggressions, but proceeded cautiously, 
dreading some ambush. Having, however, assured themselves 
that there was no cause for mistrust, they began to spread over 
the city, and to plunder the monasteries, nunneries, and 
hospitals, with great slaughter of those found therein. The 
hospital of San Spirito was destroyed, and the patients were 

^ This letter, though inaccurate in several details, the author writing at 
a distance from the events, affords curious evidence of the consternation 
generally occasioned by the sack of Rome. 


App.ii.] DUKES OF URBINO 431 

thrown into the Tiber, after which they commenced attacking 
the palaces of cardinals and gentlemen, with much bloodshed 
and cruelty ; and I have been told this morning by Francesco, 
son of Battista Riceco, that one Maestro Jacomo, the first 
perfumer in Rome, is come to his house, having escaped with 
four other chance companions, whom, being a very old friend, 
he has thought it necessary to receive kindly in his house ; and 
he learned from him as certain, having been witness to it, that 
the lansquenets, that inhuman and villainous race of Lutheran 
infidels, slew without mercy those of all ages, sexes, and condi- 
tions whom they found in the streets ; also, that they attacked 
Cardinal Cesarini's palace, wherein were many Roman gentle- 
men, guarded by two hundred infantry ; and having stormed it, 
put them all to the sword, it being uncertain if the Cardinal 
himself were there. Thence they proceeded to the Spanish 
Archbishop of Cosenza's palace, wherein were some five hundred 
of his countrymen, men of credit inhabiting Rome, who had 
retired thither as to a place of safety ; but all, without exception, 
were cut to pieces. They next went to the house of Messer 
Domenico de' Massimi, a Roman gentleman, who had there his 
wife and two children, with many noble persons of the city of 
all ages, every individual of whom were slain — men, women, 
children, servants, maids ; and it was the same in many others, 
whose names I do not remember, so that the dead bodies lie in 
heaps in the houses and palaces of the nobility, each day getting 
worse. Fancy the affliction of the poor ladies, seeing husbands, 
brothers, children massacred before their eyes, without the 
power of aiding them, and worse still, they were themselves 
killed next moment. It is not believed that had the Turk come 
on such an enterprise, his barbarity would have equalled that 
daily, continuously, and perseveringly practised by these ruffians. 
I cannot imagine a greater purgatory or hell than to hear the 
weeping and lamentation there must be in that afflicted city. 

But I forgot that he told me they were barricading the 
Marchioness of Mantua's palace, as he left Rome, in which were 
her Excellency, with many Roman ladies, who had fled there as 
to an asylum, but the result was not known. He also said that 
the Bande 7iere of the late Lord Giovanni de' Isledici were to 

432 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. ii. 

have from the Pope double pay for their services, which his 
HoHness refusing, a part of them remained in Rome, and the 
rest went off in disgust and joined the Spaniards in plundering, 
being the foremost to assault that bastion which was defended 
by their comrades, and having, in fact, secured the Imperialists 
their victory, as without them neither the lansquenets nor 
Spaniards had ever got into the city. 

The Pope is in the castle, with many cardinals and other 
persons of station : they are said to have a year's provisions, 
with ample ammunition and artillery. This Maestro Giacomo 
says he heard that the Imperialists, dubious of succours, thought 
of fortifying the bridges, with the intention of holding their 
ground against any who might annoy them. As yet the lans- 
quenets have made no prisoners, but the Spaniards have pillaged 
immensely, and taken vast numbers of men, women priests, and 
people of all sorts, so that there is, from Rome to Naples, an un- 
interrupted stream of baggage and prisoners sent by them. He 
also mentions that the chief of Colonna most courageously 
charged the lansquenets, crying Colonna ! Colonna ! but after 
a great fray, he was beaten and his followers killed, whereupon 
Pompeo Colonna, thinking to elevate himself and put down his 
enemies, fled away, and neither he nor any of his house have 
been since heard of. It was reported that four soldiers were 
killed in entering the castle, but this is since contradicted. 
Cardinal del Monte and many more cardinals are missing, and it 
is not known if they got in there, or are dead, or taken, or 
escaped. It is suspected that these anti-Christian dogs will put 
all Rome to flames ; and we may anticipate that after suffer- 
ing all this rapine, pillage, slaughter, and captivity, it will soon 
have to endure a grievous pestilence, from the number of dead 
bodies left in the jpalaces and houses, which no one removes for 
burial, and which are putrefying in masses, so that no one can 
enter, on account of the stench, without inhaling infection. It is 
also said that, a day or two ago one of the Pope's chamberlains 
was secretly sent by his Holiness from the castle in the night to 
our Duke [of Urbino], to inform him of the state of matters, and 
to exhort him and the other captains of the League to push on 
with the army to his aid ; and that all these other leaders having 



repaired to consult with his Lordship, they unanimously resolved 
to press forward. We hear that his Excellency is to-day at 
Orvieto, and will reach Viterbo to-morrow ; also that he will 
make a general levy, and give bounty to all who will enlist. His 
Excellency has written the Governor a very affectionate letter, 
praying him to exhort all those here who have been soldiers to 
go in search of honourable service, with money and all they 
may require. The Governor has circulated copies of this letter 
throughout the state, and has made proclamation, so that they 
are embodying many men to join his Excellency, On Saturday, 
Vincenzo Ubaldino and Pier-Matteo di Thomasello will start 
from this with a fine and good detachment. I am sorry not to 
be able to send you a copy of this letter, which it would really 
have done your heart good to read. You could hardly believe 
how much vexation this misfortune to Rome has caused here; 
and when people of station discuss it, as they often do, I assure 
you I have seen them weep as freely as if it were their own. All 
that I have related I tell you just as I heard it from others. I 
would I were speaking untruths, and that it were all false; but 
I shall say no more. The Lady Madonna Emilia sends you 
hearty commendations, and reminds you not to give yourself 
such airs as to forget her. From Urbino, the 20th May, 1527. 
Entirely your brother, g^^^^^^^ ^^^^^ 

in. Letter from Mercurino da Gattinara, Commissary of the 
litiperial Army during the sack of Rome, wherein he infor7?is 
the Empe7-or of the entrance into thai city, of the slaughter 
and havock inflicted, and of the arrangement ?nade through 
hifn with Clement VII., and how during four sticcessive days 
he repaired to the Castle of St. Angelo to negotiate with the 
Pope and thirteen ca?ditials there inclosed.^ 

Most sacred Csesar, 

I have this \vritten in Italian by another hand, being unable to 

do so with my own in consequence of meeting with an accident, 

as I shall presently explain. I have to inform your Majesty that 

Monsieur di Borbone, being near Florence and Siena with his 

1 Vat. Ottob. MSS. No. 2607. 
III. — 2 F 

434 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. ii. 

army, and understanding that the former of these cities was well 
fortified, and contained the forces of the League ready to defend 
it, rendering a siege impossible, or at all events so protracted as 
to endanger your Majesty's troops from want of provisions and 
other stores, whilst the lack of pay risked their disbanding and 
losing all ; — aware, on the other hand, that Rome had been dis- 
armed, and that to seize and bring it and the Pontiff to great 
straits was to gain everything, or at all events would prove a 
measure so useful and advantageous as to content your Majesty ; 
— it appeared to him better to abandon his designs upon Flor- 
ence, and, advancing by forced marches, to beleaguer Rome, 
thereby anticipating the army of the League, and preventing 
them from succouring it, for which purpose he determined to 
leave his artillery in Siena. Accordingly, when this was decided, 
the confederates being in Florence, and we thirty miles on this 
side of it, we advanced with the utmost diligence, doing twenty 
or four-and-twenty miles a day, which was something quite new 
for the army, so numerous, so distressed by past fatigues, and by 
recent and actual hunger.^ Thus, on Saturday the 4th instant, 
it was quartered at Isola, seven miles from Rome. M. di Bor- 
bone and his officers were astonished that the Pope and cardinals 
should await the army and the threatened danger, whilst Rome 
was incapable of defence, without submitting some proposal by 
envoy or letter, or even answering a despatch sent to his Holi- 
ness by M. di Borbone and the Viceroy as to the terms of agree- 
ment. Some of your Majesty's good servants suggested that were 
the army under the walls it was doubtful if they could carry 
them, from want of artillery, in which event their own destruc- 
tion would follow ; on the other hand, that in case of taking the 

■^ As a specimen of the very loose diction even of public despatches in this 
age, and of the obstacles which a translator has to encounter, we shall render 
literally the next sentence, or rather half page, sentences not being divided in 
the original. "And so the fourth day of the present month of May, which 
was Saturday, the foresaid army made his lodgment at seven miles from 
Rome, in a place which is called the Isle ; Monsieur di Borbone and all the 
principal persons were filled with much wonder that the Pope and so many 
cardinals and all Rome, being disarmed, should wait for such an army and 
great danger, without sending to the said Monsieur di Borbone an ambas- 
sador to make some parley, nor letters, or answer to his letters which the 
said M. di Borbone had formerly written, and the Viceroy, to his Holiness 
about the affair of the agreement." 


city it would be sacked, which could be no good service to your 
Majesty, as its plunder would occasion the army to disperse, the 
Spaniards and Italians straggling towards Naples, or, should they 
not break up, they might demand immense arrears of pay, which 
not being discharged from want of means, everything would fall 
into confusion. For these reasons they recommended Borbone 
so to dispose his forces as to keep matters open for arrangement 
with the Pope. Of this advice he openly approved, desirous of 
any plan which should provide pay for the army. He, however, 
declared that he would not abstain from annoying the enemy, 
nor allow them time to provide for their interests, alleging that 
the Admiral [Bonnivet] of France, from not having taken Rome 
when he could, in order to save it from a sack, was unable after- 
wards to do so, it being defended by the Lord Prospero Colonna : 
also that, on another occasion, when Monsieur di Chaumont 
beleaguered Bologna, Fabrizio Colonna threw in succours whilst 
the French general was treating with Julius II., who thereupon 
broke off the parley : finally, that it became a pontiff rather to 
seek a capitulation than to wait until it was demanded of 

Monsieur di Borbone accordingly decided on approaching the 
walls, and on Sunday morning the 5th we made a lodgment 
within [beyond?] St. Peter's palace, hard by the monastery of 
S. Pancrazio. Yet he did not neglect addressing a letter to the 
Pontiff on that morning, exhorting him to make a favourable 
capitulation rather than abide the unpleasant alternative. It was 
at the same time suggested whether it might not be well for him 
to repair to his Holiness ; but considering that he could not go 
for want of a safe-conduct, it seemed better for him to remain ; 
he, however, sent the letter by a trumpet, whom the enemy did 
not allow to pass, the missive remaining in their hands, and we 
know not whether it reached the Pope ; at all events, no answer 
ever came, which was demanded before half-past seven p.m. of 
that day, after which it would be no longer possible to restrain 
the army. For these reasons, as evening approached, it was re- 
solved to get the ladders all prepared for an assault the following 
morning on the Borgo towards the furnaces, where the wall was 
considered very weak. And so the assault was given on Monday 

436 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. ii. 

morning the 6th of May in this year 1527, when by an unlucky 
chance the Lord di Borbone was hit in the abdomen towards the 
right thigh, of which wound he presently died. Yet notwith- 
standing this accident, which was not at once known to the 
army, the undertaking was carried through, and the Borgo was 
plundered that morning. The Pope, with most of the cardinals 
and court, were in the castle, but on hearing what had occurred 
they hastily retired to the castle of S. Angelo. Meanwhile our 
soldiery sacked the whole Borgo, and slew most of the people 
whom they found, taking a few prisoners. The enemy's forces 
then in the city are supposed not to have exceeded three thousand, 
unused to arms, so that it was scarcely defended ; the dense fog 
which prevailed during that day was likewise inopportune, pre- 
venting them seeing each other ; and the struggle did not last in 
all above two hours. We afterwards learned that the Pope and 
the citizens, relying upon the assurances of Renzo da Ceri, con- 
sidered both Rome and the Borgo to be impregnable without 
artillery, and looked for support from the confederate army. 

The Pontiff being thus within the castle, and such of the 
citizens as were armed having joined their handful of troops for 
defence of the bridges and of the Transtevere quarter, the Borgo 
was occupied by a large portion of our army, and its leaders were 
assembled in council, when there arrived the Portuguese ambassa- 
dor to say that some Romans, his neighbours, had, with the 
Pope's sanction, urged him to make terms. The answer given 
him was that the council would be ready to treat, so soon as the 
Pope had placed in their hands the Ponte Molle and Transtevere, 
to which proposal no reply was returned during that day. A 
brigade of our troops having carried the Transtevere, and pos- 
sessed themselves of the Ponte Sisto and Sta. Maria, the whole 
army passed into the city early on that evening of the 6th. As 
the inhabitants in general relied on its being defended, none of 
them had fled or removed their property, so that no one of what- 
ever nation, rank, condition, age, or sex escaped becoming 
prisoners — not even women in the convents. They were treated 
without distinction according to the caprice of the soldiery ; and 
after being plundered of all their effects most of them were com- 
pelled by torture or otherwise to pay ransom. Cardinals Cesarini, 


della Valle, and di Siena, being imperialists, considered them- 
selves safe, and remained in their houses, whither also there 
retired Cardinal . . . , Fra Giacobatio, and many friends with 
their women and valuables ; but finding no sanctuary there, they 
had to compound with certain captains and soldiers for security 
of their persons and property; notwithstanding which, these 
houses were completely pillaged three or four days afterwards, 
and they had enough to do to save their lives. Some women 
who had carried all their earthly possessions to Cardinal Colonna's 
residence were left with but a single cloak and shift. Cardinals 
S. Sisto and della Minerva, who stayed at home, are still in the 
soldiers' power, being too poor to pay their ransom. All the 
church ornaments are stolen, the sacred utensils thrown about, 
the relics gone to destruction — for the troops in abstracting their 
precious receptacles heeded these no more than as many bits of 
wood : even the shrine of the sancta sanctoru?n was sacked, 
although regarded with peculiar reverence. St. Peter's church 
and the papal palace from top to bottom have been made into 
stables. I feel confident that your Majesty as a Catholic and 
most Christian emperor will feel displeasure at these gross 
outrages and insults to the Catholic religion, the Apostolic See, 
and the city of Rome. In truth, every one is convinced that all 
this has happened as a judgment from God on the great tyranny 
and disorders of the papal court ; but however this may be, 
there has been vast destruction, for which no redress can be had 
but from your Majesty's arm and authority. This army has no 
head, no divisions, no discipHne, no organisation, but every one 
behaves according to his own fancy. The Lord Prince of 
Orange and Giovanni di Urbino, with the other leaders, do what 
they can, but to little purpose ; for in entering Rome the lansque- 
nets have conducted themselves like true Lutherans, and the rest 
like actual . . . Most of the troops are enriched by the enor- 
mous booty, amounting to many millions of gold. A majority 
of the Spaniards will, it is supposed, retire to Naples with their 

But to resume our narrative. On the morning after our entry, 
being Tuesday the 7th, the Pope wrote a letter to our leaders, 
praying them to send me to his Holiness to hear certain pro- 

438 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. ii. 

posals. By their order I went into S. Angelo, where I found 
thirteen cardinals in great affliction, as was natural in the circum- 
stances. His Holiness in their presence told me, that since 
fortune, on which he too much relied, had brought him to this 
pass, he would not think of any resistance, but was content to 
place his own person and that of the cardinals, and his state, in 
your Majesty's hands, and that he desired me to mediate with 
the captains for some favourable arrangement. I did my best to 
comfort his Holiness and the cardinals, showing them how 
satisfied they must be that your Majesty never intended to injure 
either his Holiness or the ApostoHc See ; but that great blame 
attached to them, seeing they might, on certain fair conditions 
and by a sum of money, have prevented our army from approach- 
ing so near, which would have averted the destruction of Rome ; 
since, however, God had so willed it, that his plan seemed to me 
good, of placing himself in the hands of your Majesty, as there 
was no remedy or redress to be looked for but from that quarter. 
Taking upon me the charge imposed by my ofifice as mediator, 
I passed several times between the council of war and the 
Pontiff, and succeeded in the course of four days in concluding 
a capitulation, which is generally considered reasonable and 
advantageous to your Majesty's service, as to which I shall only 
say that your Majesty will judge, after seeing its terms and learn- 
ing its progress. There arose on our side an obstacle to prevent 
the execution of this agreement, which was the bad discipline of 
the Germans, who took a fancy not to quit Rome, nor confirm 
any truce, until they had received all arrears of pay, amounting, 
according to their calculation, to 300,000 scudi. But as the 
Pope could put down but 100,000 scudi, even after selling every- 
thing within the castle, of his own valuables and those of the 
cardinals and prelates, and the church ornaments, the affair 
could not be brought to a happy issue, so much so that I greatly 
feared the brutality of these Germans and the blunders of others 
would have lost all the fruits of our enterprise, especially as the 
army of the League is supposed not to be more than twenty or 
twenty-five miles distant, and as some of their detachments have 
already tried to carry off" his Holiness by night. After several 
days had passed in disputing with the lansquenets, the expedient 


was adopted of handing them over all the cash produced by the 
Pontiff — the Prince of Orange and other captains undertaking 
that they should be paid [the balance] out of the jfirst moneys 
raised, and Parma and Piacenza being consigned in security, I 
was obliged to concede to them these conditions, in order to carry 
through the capitulation, and so secure the benefit of our enter- 
prise, as well as to elude their anxiety to get the Pope and cardi- 
nals into their clutches, upon which they were greatly set. And 
this arrangement is really of such importance that most of your 
Majesty's servants are willing to undertake any obligation towards 
these lansquenets, in order to ensure the Pope's and cardinals' 
safety. There is still some hitch about raising the 100,000 scudi, 
but we trust means will be found ; meanwhile, it has been 
resolved to throw three hundred infantry into the castle to- 
morrow, under some leader, to secure it and all in it ; and we 
shall see gradually to get the rest brought about. 

In return for my toils, anxieties, and services, I was wounded 
from an arquebus in S. Angelo on the fourth day, whilst ap- 
proaching the castle to treat with the Pope. The ball passed 
through my right arm, which prevents me from writing, but 
I hope in time to get over it. And notwithstanding this accident 
befallen me, from no fault of his Holiness, whilst on your 
Majesty's service and in so righteous a work, I shall endure it 
all patiently, in the hope that your Majesty will consider my 
exertions, and the losses sustained by me in limb and estate, and 
out of your clemency and compassion will not omit some fitting 

After writing the above on the 19th inst., I returned to the 
castle to conclude the arrangements with the Pope and cardinals, 
and complete the convention ; and in consequence of certain 
articles being added regarding the entry of our people into 
S. Angelo, I sought to remodel the treaty. The Lord Vespasiano 
Colonna, and the Abbot of Nigera accompanied me ; and after 
protracted discussion with the Pontiff regarding the difficulty of 
raising the 100,000 scudi, we had recourse to certain merchants 
who, on a guarantee from his Holiness and the cardinals, 
promised to make up a balance of 20,000 wanted to complete 
that sum. This point being settled, I insisted on reforming the 

440 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. ii. 

treaty, and that your Majesty's troops might on that very day 
take possession of the fortress, as had been agreed on. But his 
Holiness endeavoured all day to postpone this on various pre- 
texts, and at length, when pressed by us to decide, as we would 
wait no longer, he replied, " I shall speak frankly ; having 
advices that the confederate army is at hand to relieve me, I 
desire, meanwhile, that you give me a limited time to await their 
succours, on the expiry of which I shall perform all the stipula- 
tions of the capitulation. Nor is this any unreasonable request, 
as I shall be satisfied with six days, and as similar conditions are 
never refused to any fortress about to surrender." I replied 
to the Pontiff and the cardinals, that your Majesty's army had 
little apprehension of any such succours, being always victorious ; 
but that his Holiness would do well to consider how your 
Majesty's captains, on receiving such an answer, would conclude 
him and the cardinals to have been merely trifling with them to 
gain time : indeed, I was satisfied that they would consider it a 
positive rupture, and would suddenly assault the castle, and 
storm it so furiously that these, or even better terms, would no 
longer be listened to, leaving no opportunity for repentance or 
remedy short of the final destruction of the Holy See. On hear- 
ing these views, the Pope and cardinals were greatly bewildered, 
apprehending that they would be realised should they wait for 
relief, and in this dilemma remained gazing on each other, but 
asked a quarter of an hour for consultation. Eventually there 
arose a wrangle among the cardinals, those of the French faction 
wishing to await succours at all hazards ; so the Pontiff excused 
himself from settling the matter according to his own wish, ever 
urging a delay of six days. I believe the authors of this opposi- 
tion to have been Alberto da Carpi, the Datary Orazio Baglione, ^ 
Gregorio Casale the English ambassador, and such like. 

Having retired from the castle with Lord Vespasian and thai 
Abbot, we related everything to our leaders, whereupon it was 
decided to open that very night a trench round the fortress, the] 
whole army turning out under arms. It was found no easy 
matter to muster them, all being idle and intent on pillage ; nor 1 
would they quit the houses, especially the lansquenets, who at first! 
thought it a mere trick to get them out. At length, after great 


exertions, the enemy being ascertained but seven miles off, all 
ran to arms, and your Majesty's army was well disposed for 
battle : indeed, I suspect the enemy found their calculation dis- 
appointed, that most of our soldiery having become rich, would 
no longer flock to their standards. Some Spanish and German 
troops are expected ; but I know not if they will arrive in time, 
as the trench is already made, so that neither Pope nor any one 
else shall escape. 

Such is the present state of your Majesty's affairs, and I trust 
they will ever have successful issue. Yet it is true that, after the 
death of M. di Borbone, great confusion occurred in the army, 
as no one knew whom to acknowledge as its chief I think that 
had he lived, Rome would, perhaps, not have been sacked, and 
matters might have taken a better course and result for your 
Majesty's interests. Yet God so willed it, and we need not talk 
of what cannot now be helped. But my affectionate duty to 
your Majesty requires me to report certain things requiring from 
your Majesty the oversight of a captain-general; of the individual 
I say nothing, not wishing presumptuously to name any one. On 
M. di Borbone's death, the day we entered Rome, the captains 
and counsellors in the army discussed giving its command to the 
Viceroy of Naples, then at Siena. The Prince of Orange re- 
marked that he had acknowledged the authority of di Borbone, 
but would not submit to the Viceroy. It being suggested by 
some that the Duke of Ferrara was coming as your Majesty's 
captain-general, the Prince replied, that on his arrival, he would 
acknowledge him, but that meanwhile, no one being commis- 
sioned by your Majesty, he neither would set himself up as 
captain, nor at all permit others to be so without your Majesty's 
command. These words he addressed to Giovanni d'Urbino, 
who then, and on subsequent occasions, modestly remarked that 
he was content to acknowledge the Prince, with other com- 
plimentary phrases. Now the Prince has taken the notion of 
being himself captain-general, and thus affairs are conducted in 
his name, not, however, with that title, but as the first person in 
the army, being much liked by the Germans. Your Majesty will 
do as seems best. 

One thing requires your Majesty's careful consideration, 

442 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. ll. 

namely, how this city of Rome is to be governed, and whether 
or not anything of the ApostoHc See is to be retained. I shall 
not conceal the opinion of some that it should not be entirely 
abolished ; for if that See were transported elsewhere, it seems 
certain that it will be utterly ruined, seeing that, in that case, the 
King of France will set up a patriarch in his realm, refusing 
obedience to the Apostolic See, the English and Spanish 
Sovereigns doing the like. But this should be seen to without 
delay, otherwise the professional men and notaries will all be 
gone, and Rome will be quite reduced, as they will lose both 
their appointments and their practice. The Pope and those 
cardinals with him, told me that your Majesty should make pro- 
vision for this, otherwise all would be lost. Your Majesty will 
act in this for the best. 

There are three other points to which it is necessary that your 
Majesty should attend by anticipation. One is, what would 
your Majesty wish done, should his Holiness and those cardinals 
go to Naples as has been proposed ; ought they to be taken to 
Spain or not ? Another is, what if the Pope should escape from 
the castle by aid of the enemy ? In the third place, should 
it come to an assault and the Pontiff unluckily fall? It is my] 
belief, however, that, on expiry of the six days which he has] 
demanded, and which are already running, he, on finding no 
efficient succour, will again come to parley and propose a 
capitulation. Yet I have my misgivings lest your Majesty's 
interests should be crossed by the fury of the lansquenets, who 
declare they must get hold of him. But your Majesty's faithful 
servants will not cease to consider how these interests can be 
promoted; and now that the Lord Marquis del Vasto, the Lord 
Don Ugo, with Marcone, are coming, perhaps their advice will] 
put things into better train. 

I have resolved to discharge my duty by informing your I 
Majesty of these occurrences, but would to God I could have] 
despatched a courier to your Majesty daily as they proceeded.! 
Four days ago the Cardinal and others of the Colonna were noti 
in the neighbourhood, but he is since arrived, with Lords] 
Vespasiano and Ascanio, who do their best in your Majesty's] 


The above I have retained until the 24th of May, and as no 
courier is gone, I shall here note what has since happened. 
Your Majesty must know that on the Pope declining to accept 
the capitulation which I have mentioned above, your Majesty's 
captains and counsellors began diligently to surround the castle 
with trenches, &c., &c. 


(Page 22.) 

WE print this document with hesitation, and solely 
from its being the Duke's own and formal defence 
against very serious charges; which, however, it 
leaves untouched. It is a futile attempt to evade 
these by feeble and puling recrimination ; to dis- 
tract attention from their true merits by circumlocutions and 
reiterations, which our version has somewhat condensed. The 
original is one unbroken sentence, rudely constructed, apparently 
of purpose to mystify the reader. 

Letter of the Lord Duke of Urbino, Captain-general to the Signory 
of Venice, dated under Monteleone, ^thjuly, 1527. 
By your Sublimity's letters to the most illustrious lord Prove- 
ditore Pisani, and from my ambassador accredited to you, I have 
learnt, to my infinite dissatisfaction and surprise, the suspicions 
entertained by you lest the illustrious lady Duchess, my consort, 
and my son should secretly leave Venice, and the doubts of my 
good faith which you by implication exhibit in denying them per- 
mission to quit the city ; regarding which it seems necessary first 
to recapitulate to your Signory what I had formerly charged my 
resident to explain to you, to this effect. Since, from the very 
outset of this war, it has generally happened to me not to accom- 
plish my intentions for your service and my own honour, and to 
be blamed for failures resulting from the occurrence of impossi- 
bilities, or from the blunders of others, whilst with mind and 

^ Sanuto Diarii, xlv. 352. 


body I was exclusively occupied on what might prove advan- 
tageous and creditable, — I determined, for these and other con- 
siderations which, out of modesty, I omit, seeing the bad success 
with which I had, on this occasion, borne arms, to yield to my 
evil fortune on the expiry of my engagement ; which I considered 
to be clearly ended at the close of three years ; nor again to 
expose my honour to question, from no fault of mine. And, on 
this account^ I have all along and often said I would not continue, 
which may be attested by all the commissioners employed by 
your Serenity in this war, to whom, as to many others you are 
accustomed to credit, I repeatedly stated this. Passing over for 
the present the good reasons, already well known to your 
Sublimity, which induced me to forget all this, and treat of a re- 
engagement, with the disposition to remain on, — as well as those 
considerations which, renewing the first impressions, made me 
again deliberately fall back upon my project, yet with the full 
intention not to abandon the cause of your Sublimity, unless the 
expected succours should arrive, or until I had placed it in safety, 
even should this necessitate my staying long after the conclusion 
of my service ; thinking also that, I having no opposite interest, 
the enemy ought to let me rest in my intention, and in a firm 
resolution neither to take up arms, nor otherwise act against your 
Sublimity and your interests ; nevertheless, considering that, were 
I to quit you at the close of three years, from all these and 
numerous other reasons, which might probably occasion me 
annoyance, I might be exposed to the surmise of having acted, 
not from such motives, but that, on observing the success of the 
other side, I wished, by attaching myself to a prosperous cause, 
to evade adversity; and my chief object ever being to preserve 
my honour intact, not only from stain, but even from suspicion ; 
— on these accounts, and from the difficulty that arose as to find- 
ing myself at freedom in regard to the two years of beneplacito} 
I decided to serve, in order not to expose my honour to any 
reflection. Yet, in addition to all that passed in private between 
the Proveditore and myself, when I told him I would and should 
serve your Sublimity without further demands, and that he might 

* A condolfo, or military engagement, was usually for so many years certain, 
and one or two more at the option or beneplacito of parties. 

446 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. in. 

freely dispose of me, I, even in the public council, stated my 
views as to maintaining these bands, and constituting them the 
mainspring of the war. For the whole of which considerations, 
I declared that I would serve your SubUmity, without regard 
to life or anything else, as I have uniformly done, in order more 
fully to satisfy all the Lords of Council that what I proposed I 
was, and more than ever am, anxious to do, in conjunction with 
them. And if the dates of letters be examined, it will be dis- 
tinctly seen that each of these circumstances occurred much 
before I had heard, or could have heard, a word as to any doubt 
or distrust of me being exhibited, which, in my opinion, ought 
not to be, even were I to take my leave. Thus I had no appre- 
hension ; yet, as my intention of so acting was founded on what 
might fairly be done, I did not suppose that by your Sublimity it 
would have been not only opposed, but even gainsaid, in restor- 
ing to me my son when I should ask him of you, as I meant to 
do. In such case you might well consider that, even had I any 
intention to fail you,— a thing you could not and ought not to 
suppose from my former life, — you would have known how to 
adopt, and would have adopted, measures suitable to such 
intentions, and not so frequently have said and reiterated, chiefly 
to the agents of your Sublimity, that you wished me to be gone ; 
and this after I had voluntarily given into your hands my lady 
consort and my son, when there was, and could be, no obligation 
to do so beyond the suggestions of my thorough sincerity. And, 
with a view to establish this, I lately offered you three proposals, 
— first, my person, which is here at your Sublimity's disposal in 
your service ; second, my son, who is now in your hands ; third, 
my state, with its fortresses, which I willingly would offer your 
Sublimity, to be kept, along with myself, in your service and dis- 
posal, as full guarantee and security; although I know not what 
better satisfaction you can require besides my free action, where- 
by I so long and often have manifested my disposition. And 
most clear, in my opinion, are the many reasons which freely in- 
duced me ; all of which, and more too, were they not already so 
known, I am prepared to maintain in case of need. Hence my 
modesty, serene Prince, will not, in these circumstances, let me 
stop to say how great a wrong I suffer ; yet to no one, not even 


to your Sublimity, have I given cause or occasion to depreciate 
my good faith, which was, is, and ever shall be, most sincere. 
And, although it be considered impossible that you can do any- 
thing without that wisdom which becomes your dignity, I never- 
theless have grounds for complaint, and am exceedingly vexed 
that my ill luck has been so in the ascendant as, — after all the 
efforts and perils of my life, and the loss of so many followers in 
your service, for which I have heeded no calamities, — instead of 
the gratitude which I might reasonably have promised myself 
from you, to occasion such marked dishonour ; so that, ever 
since my birth, I may say that my life has been passed in cease- 
less travails and difficulties. And, if you have thought fit to 
believe any malicious and spiteful fellow, I ought not to be the 
victim, though he be an astute and wily foe, who, well aware 
that I maintained myself to be at liberty, and very often declared 
myself unwilling to remain, has spread some rumours against me, 
reckoning that, if in nothing else, he would, at all events, have 
the satisfaction of circulating that distrust of me which is already 
apparent, although I ought not on that account to be slandered. 
I do, therefore, with the greatest possible urgency, beseech you 
to investigate the truth ; and, if I be blameable, to visit me with 
such punishment as I merit ; or, if found innocent, to liberate 
me, by a suitable public acknowledgment, from the stigma under 
which I lie. And, commending myself to your favour, I remind 
you that all these past thoughts of mine arose from no private 
interest of my own, but from despair at being unable, by no fault 
of mine, to do what your service and my honour demanded, and 
at being prevented, by past circumstances, from effecting what I 
had previously hoped to accomplish, although no exertions of 
mind or body were wanting on my part. From beneath Monte - 
leone, the 9th of July, 1527. 


(Page 27.) 


ON his arrival at Madrid, in March, 1525, CastigUone 
found the Emperor and his ministers much disposed 
for peace ; but matters soon assumed a totally dif- 
ferent aspect, on news of the victory of Pavia, 
which, by annihilating the army of Francis, and 
leaving him a prisoner, established the supremacy of Charles, 
and placed him in a position to dictate terms. This event modi- 
fied the policy of the Italian princes, and especially that of the 
Pope, who, naturally irresolute, knew not what part to take, un- 
willing to abandon his avowed neutrality, yet seeing no security 
in standing aloof from a power so dominant as that of the Em- 
peror. On the whole, he thought it safest to come to a pro- 
visional arrangement with Don Carlos de Lanoy, Viceroy of 
Naples, giving him 100,000 ducats for payment of his troops, 
as the price of his aid in recovering for the Church Reggio and 
Rubbiera, which the Duke of Ferrara had seized on the death of 
Adrian VI. He at the same named as his legate to the leading 
powers of Christendom, for the purpose of concluding a general 
peace. Cardinal Giovanni Salviati, who proceeded to Madrid to 
attend the conferences for the liberation of Francis and the 
security of Italy. In consort with Castiglione, the Legate urged 
that an envoy should be forthwith despatched to Rome and 




Venice, in order to remove those suspicions of the Emperor's 
design to make himself master of the entire Peninsula, which 
had arisen in consequence of the Marquis of Pescara taking pos- 
session of the chief fortresses of the Milanese, and besieging 
Francesco Sforza in his capital, on a pretext of his plotting with 
the other princes to drive the Spaniards out of Lombardy, and 
to deprive them of Naples ; it being obvious that once estab- 
lished in these provinces, Charles would be paramount in Italy. 
As to the liberation of Francis, they could get nothing beyond 
professions of the utmost moderation, that matter being secretly 
negotiated by the Viceroy. 

The Pontiff, getting no satisfaction on these points, began to 
lend an ear to a proposed league of France, England, and Venice; 
but, when on the point of subscribing it, he, to the infinite dis- 
gust of his colleagues, postponed his signature on a rumour that 
the Commendatore Herrera was at Genoa, on his way to offer 
very acceptable proposals ; at length, however, finding that these 
reports were but opiates to set him asleep, he was induced to 
join the confederation, notwithstanding entreaties and promises 
of the imperial ambassador. This league filled Charles with 
indignation, as he fully understood it to be directed against him- 
self, though masked by a condition sanctioning his adherence to 
it. But his rage was immoderate on receiving, through Castig- 
lione, a papal brief, which justified the confederacy as necessary 
for the safety of Italy and the Holy See, and complained gener- 
ally of the measures of his ministers, specifying various instances 
wherein they had ill responded to the pacific and affectionate 
dispositions entertained by his Holiness towards their master. 
Stung to the quick by a despatch which laid bare the secret 
tricks of their paltry intrigues, they persuaded the Emperor to 
return a sharp answer, appealing to a general council whatever 
steps Clement might have recourse to against him, which they 
represented as likely to endanger his possession of Naples, and 
even his tenure of the imperial crown. Castiglione, who en- 
joyed high personal favour, was able by dexterous representations 
to extract from Charles himself the hope of a milder reply, and 
meanwhile had from him authority to assure the Pontiff of his 
friendly intentions, and of his resolution to comport himself as 

III.— 2 G 

450 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. iv. 

a humble and liege son ; and these favourable dispositions were 
the more readily effected, as he had received from the wavering 
Pontiff a revocation of the offensive brief the very day after it 
had been delivered. It was, therefore, with dismay that, when 
shown the secretary's answer, he found it in the utmost degree 
bitter and spiteful ; and hurrying to the Emperor, he complained 
of the disrespect thus shown to his Majesty's wishes in an affair 
of such moment, protesting that he neither could write to his 
master what his Majesty had already instructed him, without 
belying the whole negotiation, nor could he, after such treatment, 
rely upon or report those favourable dispositions which his 
Majesty had hitherto professed. Charles replied that his real 
intentions were conformable to his previous professions, although 
he had been advised by his ministers to write in such terms as 
might justify and secure himself, in the face of such groundless 
imputations as had been made in the objectionable brief; adding 
the most solemn abjurations, that, if his Holiness comported 
himself peaceably towards all, he should ever continue a good and 
obedient son. In an autograph letter to the Nuncio, he reiter- 
ated this explanation of his answer, with a hope that the Pope 
would not take offence at its contents, and an assurance that 
Castiglione would never be belied by him. The document which 
the diplomatist had the tact thus to obtain, is relied upon by his 
biographers as a satisfactory negative to the suspicions of Varchi, 
that he betrayed the Pontiff and the Church, during his vexatious 
relations with the Spanish court. 

Meanwhile, Francis having been released, on terms which he 
was unable as well as unwilling to execute, and his sons conse- 
quently remaining as hostages, the new League proceeded with 
hostilities against the Imperialists in Lombardy, and took Lodi, 
whilst their ambassadors still negotiated at Madrid for the Em- 
peror's adherence to their confederation, and for release of the 
French princes. This farce of armed protocoHsing was further 
complicated by various by-plots, and by endless jealousies and 
misunderstandings among these diplomatists, so that the Spanish 
ministry found no difficulty in protracting it by a succession of 
petty cavils, in the hope of some favourable news from the seat of 
war. Such was the state of matters when the first sack of Rome 


by Don Ugo da Moncada and the Colonna, in September 1526, 
reached the imperial court, and along with it the hurried truce 
imposed upon Clement. Charles, affecting great indignation, 
immediately sent to the Pope Cesare Fieramosca, his master of 
horse, to disown the proceedings of Moncada, and to lavish pro- 
fessions for the peace and welfare of Italy, the only effect of 
which was to lull the facile and nerveless Pontiff into a fatal 
security, rudely dispelled by the assault of Bourbon on the 
heights of the Vatican. 


(Page 140) 


I. Spanish Infantry, including those at Corfu. 

Don Gabriel Hig'^ of the third of Naples 

. 3000 

Of Sicily 


Mechil Moncada 

• 1560 

Pietro Ciaida 


Don Giovanni Figarola ..... 


D. Lopez Figarola . . ... 

. 130 

Alonzo Ruiz di Carion ..... 


Francesco Aldana ...... 



. 7604 

2. Italian Infantry. 

The Count of Soriano 

. 1650 

Tiberio Brancatio 

. 2000 

Paolo Sforza 

. 1800 

Pietro Villa and Giorgio Moncada . 

. 3000 

Paolo Golfario ...... 


Fra Matteo Belhuomo 


Vincenzo di Bologna 



• 9430 

> Vat. Urb. MSS. 816, fol. 144-5. 

App. v.] 



T.. Private Individuals. 

The Lord Prince of Parma 
The Lord Paolo Giordano 
The Marquis of Trevico 
The Marquis of Briense 
Giulio Gesuoldo 
Antonio Doria 
D. Giovanni di Gueriaza 
Count di Landriano 
D. Giovanni di Avalos 
Count di Vicari 
Cecco da Lofredo . 
The Prior of Hungary 



Italian infantry 
Spanish ,, 
Private men-at-arms 
Captains of adventure 






Also of knights from Germany and Burgundy on their own 

costs ....... 

The captains of adventure, of very fine appearance and 

very well armed, may amount to above two thousand ; 

say in all . . . . . . . . 2 150 

German infantry (no successor to the Count Lodron yet 

appointed) ........ 4361 





Naval Force. 

33 ships, each carrying from 1500 to 4500, or from 6400 to 7000 

Those carrying 700 remain for the westward. 



[App. V. 

9 large barks, part of them left for the westward, and partly taken 
for his Highness' effects and for artificial fireworks. 

The division of the great galleys to be taken on or left behind 
is not yet made, not knowing the amount of duty required, 
nor the eighty paid by the court. 


1 3 canons of 5olb. fully supplied. 
T „ of 6o „ 

5 M of 35 „ 
3 n of 25,, 
2 ,, for stones. 
2 colobrines of 16 lb. 

14 sagri of 7 „ 

10 falconets for the great barks. 
1 2 pieces of seven mouths sent 

by the Grand Duke of 


62 in all. 


7050 iron balls of 50 lb 
3450 „ „ of 35 „ 

3250 „ 
1200 ,, 

3644 iron balls for the sagri. 
767 stone balls. 

of 25 „ 

for the colo- 

19,361 in all. 

1360 cantars of powder, Nea- 
politan weight, 100 to each 

1980 cantars of rope for the 

1800 cantars of lead. 


7000 cantars of biscuit already carried on to Corfu, whereof 
1000 lent to the Venetians, and 2000 to the Pope's 
galleys, leaving 4000 for those of the Marquis Sta. 

26,000 cantars more are returned as in the kingdom of 
Naples (including the 3000 for the Venetians and 
his Holiness) under charge of the Marquis of Terra- 
nuova, who is to ship 19,000 for the supply of the 
armament during four months. 

3500 pipes [ioffe] of wine in the ships at Corfu. 

2500 ,, to be shipped for the Levant by the Marquis of 

Apr. v.] DUKES OF URBINO 455 

7400 cantars of salt-meat in the ships at Corfu will be divided 

at Messina. 
1050 cantars for the westward squadron. 
8000 ,, of Sardinian cheese at Corfu. 
5000 barrels of pickled tunny and anchovies at Corfu for the 


I i;oo cantars of rice 1 r u ^u 

•^ r , } for both armaments. 

150 quarters of vetches J 

1025 „ ,, ditto remain in Messina. 

600 casks of vinegar. 

3570 baskets of oil, Neapolitan measure. 

His Highness has resolved that Doria shall accompany his 
galleys to the Levant, and assist in the transport of stores, under 
orders to return speedily with twelve galleys ; and has made him 
Proveditore of the western squadron, consisting of forty galleys 
and other vessels. 


(Page 167) 


" ^ ■ ^HIS Corona is called the Corona of the bowels of 

I our Lord Jesus Christ, and consists of ten Ave 

I Marias and one Pater Noster. Every person 

_^^^ possessing this Corona shall obtain the remission 

of all his sins and plenary indulgence. 

" Each time that he shall take it up in full faith, and look 

upon it, saying, ' Lord Jesus Christ, I pray thee by the merit of 

thy most holy Passion, have mercy on my soul and my weighty 

sins,' he shall obtain remission thereof; and whoever daily looks 

upon it and kisses it, for the merit of the most holy Passion, 

shall receive as above. 

"Further, each time that he shall say this, he shall liberate 
a soul from purgatory, and saying it a thousand times, a thousand 
souls shall be liberated through the privilege of this Corona ; and 
whoever shall look upon it by the merits of our Lord's Passion, 
or shall touch it in full faith, shall obtain plenary indulgence and 
remission as above. 

" And further, any ecclesiastic wearing it whilst he says the 
holy mass shall have the like plenary indulgence and remission, 
and those hearing the mass shall gain forty days' indulgence. 

" Power is given to the Grand Duke to dispense seven Coronas 
to as many persons, from time to time for ever, warning them 
that they must ask them in the name of God and through the 



merits of His most sacred Passion ; and these should be 
deUvered gratis." 

[From a contemporary copy in Bibl. Cassinatensis, x. iv. 39, 
p. 369.] 


(Pages 210) 


WE have here collected the various inscriptions in 
memory of the sovereigns of Urbino and their 
consorts, so far as these have come to our know- 
ledge. Several are taken from Giunta, Abozza- 
mento della Citta di LTrbino, a MS. in the Albani 
Library at Rome ; or from Lazzari, Dizionario dei Pittori di 
UrbinOy where not unfrequent errors occur : others from the 

I. Count Guidantonio. 

On a pavement tombstone in the old church of S. Donato, 
close to the Zoccolantine Monastery near Urbino, is a sculptured 
effigy in the Franciscan habit, with the following doggerel, in 
some parts illegible : — 

" Floret in Hesperia tellus ! plorate Latini ! 

Guido Comes, moriens hoc requiescit humo. 
Non fuit a coelo princeps clementior alter ; 

Prsevalidas urbes rexit et ipse potens. 
Non fuit in terris unquam qui sanctior heros 

Cappam Francisci posset habere sacri ; 
Quern dabit eternis probitas venerabilis revo 

Mors animam ccelo reddidit alma sue. 
Vos igitur superi socio gaudete superno, 

Et Divum servet curia sacra Ducem : 
Mille quadringentis domini currentibus annis 

Quadraginta tribus, Februarii vigesima prima." 



II. Duke Oddantonio. 

Quoted by Lazzari from a broken statue in the palace, which 
had been inscribed during his life : — 

" Serenissimo Oddantonio, principi prseclaro, Urbini Duci 
primo, qui vetusti generis splendore propriaque virtute insignis, 
ducali diademate a santissimo Eugenio IV, recto fuit judicio 

III. Duke Federigo. 

On his statue in the palace by Girolamo Campagna of 

"Federigo Urbini Duci optimo, S.R. ecclesis Vexillifero, 
fcederatorum principum ac aliorum exercitum imperatori, ex- 
pugnatori, prseliorum omnium victori, propagatse ditionis aedificiis, 
et militaris virtutis Uteris exornatori, popuHs insigni prudentia, 
pietate, pace, justitiaque servatis, de Italia benemerenti, Fran- 
ciscus Maria Dux, abnepos, faciendum curavit." 


On his monument in the Zoccolantine Church of S. Ber- 
nardino, near Urbino : — 

" D.O.M. Federigo Montefeltrio Urbini Duci II., Sanctse 
Romanas Ecclesiae vexillifero, Italici foederis aliorumque exer- 
cituum imperatori, praeliorum passim victori nunquam victo, 
ditionis et bonarum artium propugnatori, Celebris bibliothecae 
et insignium aedificiorum, tum ad magnificentiam tum ad pietatem 
structori, quem licet aliis preferas, nescias tamen belli an pacis 
gloria seipsum superavit. Obiit ann. dom. mcccclxxxii. 
suo. LXV." 

V. Duke Guidobaldo I. 

On his monument in the same church : — 

"Guidobaldo Federici filio, Urbini Duci iii., qui adhuc 
impubes, paternam gloriam emulans, imperia viriliter foeliciterque 
gessit, juvenis de adversa triumphans fortuna, sed vi morbi cor- 
pore debilior animo vegetior, pro armis literas, pro militibus 
viros selectissimos, pro re bellica rem aulicam ita coluit, fovit, 

46o MEMOIRS OF THE [App. vii. 

auxit, ut ejus aula ceteris prseclarissimum extet exemplar. Obiit 
an. Dom. mdviii., suo xxxvi. Et Elizabethae Gonzagse, mirse 
pudicitiae feminse, ipsi jugali amore et egregia virtute con- 

VI. Duke Francesco Maria I. 

From a mural slab in Sta. Chiara at Urbino ; written by 

" Francesco Marise Duci, amplissime belli pacisque muneribus 
perfuncto, dum paternas urbes, per vim ter ablatas, ter per vir- 
tutem recipit, et receptis cequissime moderatur; dum a pontificibus, 
a Florentinis, a Venetis exercitibus praeficitur; deinceps et 
gerendi in Turcas belli, dum princeps et administrator assumitur, 
sed ante diem sublato, Leonora uxor fidissima et optima merit- 
issimo posuit, et sibi." 

VII. Duke Guidobaldo II. 

From the same church : — 

" D. O. M. Guidus Ubaldus Monfeltrius de Ruvere, Urbini 
Dux quintus, sanctse Romanes ecclesice, Philippi Hispaniarum 
Regis, Venetseque reipublicae exercituum praefectus et imperator 
summus, magnanimitate et liberalitate adeo excelluit ut eum 
regia cum maj estate aliis potius profuisse quam prgefuisse dixeris. 
Obit humanum diem sexagenarius, anno Dni mdlxxiii." 

VIII. Duchess Vittoria. 

From the same church : — - 

"Victoria Farnesia Guidi Ubaldi Urbini Ducis V. conjux, 
maximorum principum filia, soror, amita, parens : annis quideni 
plena, sed prseter, mulierum captum virtutibus plenior, migravit 
e vita anno Dni, mdcii." 


On the centre slab of the pavement of S. Ubaldo, at Pesaro, 
where the two last-mentioned sovereigns were interred. 
"Guid. Ub. II. Urb. Ducis V. et Victoria uxoris ossa." 


X. Cardinal Giulio della Rovere. 

From a mural slab in Sta. Chiara, at Urbino. 

" Julio Montefeltrio e Ruvere, sanctas Romance ecclesice cardi- 
nali ; Umbrice bis legatione magna cum laude perfuncto ; Urbini, 
Ravennse, aliarumque ecclesiarum antistiti ; Lauretanse domus 
ac Sancti Francisci ordinum patrono; justitia, pietate, bene- 
ficentia, Principi celeberrimo ; mortalitatem explevit nonas Sept- 
embris, anno Domini mdlxxviii., astatis vero xliv." 

XI. Prince Federigo. 

Over his tomb in the pavement of the crypt in the cathedral 
at Urbino, 

"D. O. M. In hoc quod Franciscus Maria II., postremus 
Urbini Dux, sibi paraverat sepulchro, quiescunt ossa Friderici 
ejus fiUi immatura morte prserepti, iii. Kal. Juhi, mdcxxiii., et 
suffi set. ann. xviii." 


From a mural slab in Sta. Chiara, at Urbino. 

" Federicum Urbini Principem, in quem Roborea domus re- 
cumbebat, dies fugiens incolumem, cunctisque fortunte muneribus 
vidit prtefulgentem, eundemque primam intra juventam inopinata 
morte extinctum, dies veniens aspexit, in. Kal. Julii, mdcxxiii. 
Abi hospes, ac disce felicitatem vere vitream tunc prgecipue 
frangi, cum maxime splendet." 

XIII. Duke Francesco Maria II. 

From the Church of the Crucifixion, near Urbania. 

" Inclina Domine aurem tuam ad preces nostras, quibus miseri- 
cordiam tuam supplices deprecamur, ut animam famuli tui 
Francisci Marige, Urbini Ducis, quam de hoc seculo migrare 
jussisti in pacis et lucis regione, constituas, et sanctorum tuorum 
jubeas, esse consortem." 

462 THE DUKES OF URBINO [App. vii. 

XIV. Princess Lavinia della Rovere. 

"Lavinige Feltrise de Ruvere, Guidobaldi V. Ducis Urb. V. 
fiilse, Alfonsi de Avalos, Vasti March., Hispani Magnatis con- 
jugi, regiis virtutibus et forma spectabili, Italorum principum 
Romani Pontificis et Catholic! Regis conciliatrici ; qui inclyto 
orbata viro, virginibus claustra, pauperibus bona, Christo seipsum 
dicavit ; demum avita major gloria victrix, ad eternam evocata 
pacem, earn sanctimoniae famam reliquit, ut divinitus datum 
noscas ultimum Roboris in materno solo arvisque ramum, qui 
primus gloriosiorque vigebat. Obiit a.d. mdcxxxii., suo lxxv." 


(Page 246) 

IT would be interesting could we, in concluding this work, 
offer some details as to the statistics of Urbino under its 
native princes. But although, under the genial sun and 
favouring circumstances of Italy, man has in various ages 
advanced beyond his fellows in mental culture and social 
development, the science of maturing the capabilities of his 
position, and of marking their progression, is of modern growth. 
The duties of rulers and subjects consisted until lately in defence 
of the common weal against obvious dangers : the promotion of 
its general prosperity, and the registration of its gradual ameliora- 
tions, were no part either of scientific government, or of in- 
dividual study. Accordingly, the lights thrown upon statistics, 
by historians and general writers in the best days of Italian 
splendour, are too few and flickering to guide us to important 
facts; and. though we may familiarise ourselves with the Athenian 
court of Duke Guidobaldo I., its manners and its gossip, — 
though we may recall from the ample description of many authors 
the stately decorations of its palaces, the pageantry of its pro- 
cessions, the brilliancy of its revels, — we are left in total ignor- 
ance of the internal state of the country, of its resources and 
industry, of the numbers and the condition of its inhabitants, of 
the financial position of its government. It is not till late in 
the sixteenth century that we meet with some materials, which, — 
though meagre and inaccurate, and too often bearing the double 
impress of carelessness and contradiction, — enable us to form 
some tangible estimate as to these points.^ Here, as in most 

^ From a league between Count Antonio, of Urbino, and Barnabo 
Visconti, of Milan, in 1376 (MSS. Oliveriana, No. 374, vol. I., p. i), we 


464 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. viii. 

cases, recording the impartial evidence of watchful observers, 
the Venetian Relazione are of considerable value. Those of 
Mocenigo and Zane, ambassadors at Urbino in 1570-74, have 
been already drawn upon in this work, but it is chiefly from the 
latter that we have gathered the following notices. 

About the middle of the sixteenth century the revenues of the 
duchy did not exceed 40,000 scudi, and by the terms of its 
investiture the imposts could not be raised without papal sanc- 
tion. This restriction having been removed upon the marriage 
of Duke Guidobaldo II.'s daughter to the nephew of Pius IV., 
that prince promptly availed himself of his new prerogative, 
augmenting them gradually to about double that amount. The 
reductions consequent upon the Urbino insurrection brought 
down the state revenues to about 60,000 scudi, and in 1570 
Mocenigo estimates the whole income, including the allodial 
estates, at 100,000 scudi, adding an opinion that it was capable 
of being much increased. Of the 60,000 scudi, one-sixth part 
was derived from the salt, and two-sixths from licences granted 
for the export of corn [^raf^e], the remaining half being drawn 
from small taxes upon tne townships, to which the rural popula- 
tion do not appear to have directly contributed. The corn-trade 
was carried on coastwise from Sinigaglia, amounting in ordinary 
years to about 150,000 sfaji or bushels of wheat, partly smuggled 
from the papal territory, which chiefly went to supply Venice 
and its dependencies. The palpable inadequacy of these re- 
sources was eked out by pay and allowances drawn by the last 
dukes from the Venetian Republic, the Church, or the King of 
Spain. The cense or annual payment to the Camera Apostolica 
under the investiture is variously stated at from 2190 to 2907 
scudi, falling due on St. Peter's day. 

With these Venetian Relazioni, a document of much apparent 
interest has been printed in the Archivio Storico, under the title 
of " Balance of income and expenditure in the state of Urbino."- 
On nearer inspection, however, its value falls far short of its 

gather an isolated notice. Free import from the territory of Urbino into 
Florence was stipulated for all sorts of grain, fruit, and vegetables, the cus- 
tomary duties being paid upon wheat, oats, and barley. 

^ Series II., vol. II., p. 337, from a MS. in the Siena Library, K. iii. 58: 
it is dated 1579, but contains posterior entries. 


promise, for the entries are so confused, and the arithmetical 
summations so incorrect, as to destroy nearly all confidence 
either in the details or the general results. Still it seems to have 
established a few facts throwing light upon the resources of the 
duchy in the last years of the sixteenth century. 

The revenues may be thus classified : — i. Those of twelve 
towns, five smaller places, and the province of Montefeltro, 
derived from various taxes,^ duties on butcher-meat, salt, wine, 
straw, weighhouse duties on grain and other provisions, and on 
merchandise, passenger toll at Pesaro, rents of houses and inns, 
tax on the Jews (producing 953 scudi), and a variety of minor 
imposts varying in different places. The customs of Pesaro 
yielded 1226 sc. ; those of Sinigaglia 160, besides 436 for pot 
dues, and 6000 for grain and vegetables shipped for exportation. 

2. Income from manufactures- in various towns, stated at 5712 sc. 

3. The salt duties, or perhaps monopoly, 5407 sc. 4. Revenue 
from mills, payable in wheat {grand) at 4 sc. a soma, 5832 sc. 
5. Value of barley and oats {spelta) contributed by various com- 
munities, 1020 sc. 6, Mountain rents, 610 sc. 7. Donatives 
paid in wine, wood, and straw, to the value of 630 sc. 8. Produce 
of allodial lands, in wheat, oats, barley, beans, lupinse, peas, 
vetches, buckwheat, flour, hay. straw, hemp, lint, wine, walnuts, 
wool, cheese, pigeons, and waterfowl, to the gross amount of 
7321 sc. The return of expenditure is too vague and confused 
to be of any use, but it contains provisions to the Duchess, 
amounting to about 7000 sc. From these returns the Venetian 
estimates [would appear to be understated, and a contemporary 
writer, whose anonymous Reports upon the Italian principalities 
issued from the Elzivir press, sets down its revenues in 16 10 at 
above 200,000 scudi, of which 8000 were paid as cess to the 
Camera Apostolica. The imposts were considered light, for the 
soil was in many parts productive, and grain was exported largely 
from it and the adjoining Marca, at the port of Sinigaglia. The 
Duke's treasure in S. Leo is reckoned at 2,000,000 of scudi, a 
palpable error for 200,000. In 1024, the Mercuriics. Gallicus 
estimates the revenues of the duchy at 300,000 scudi, besides 
allodial lands, and estates in Naples amounting to 50,000 more. 

^ The word used is colte, which might mean crops. 
- Fabbriche might mean only shops. 



[App. VIII. 

In regard to population, the estimate of Zane is 150,000, the 
majority of whom devoted themselves to agriculture and arms, 
commercial industry being almost unknown. He calculates the 
military force at 10,000 men, half of them being trained, and 
about three-fourths ready for foreign service ; and he dwells upon 
the benefit which his Republic might derive from conciliating a 
state whence such a force could on any exigency be quickly 
obtained, without the necessity of seeking free passage from any 
other power. The report of 16 10, which evidently verges upon 
exaggeration, gives the fighting men at 20,000, nearly all infantry. 
In 1 59 1, as we learn from an original MS.,^ the military force of 
the duchy amounted to 13,313 men, of whom 8300 carried 
arquebuses, and 3783 wore morions. From the same authority is 
taken the following tabular view of the whole population, classed 
under townships, and amounting in 1598 to 115,121 souls. 

List of mouths in all the places of the state, drawn from the 
Rasegne de' Grani, &c., in 1598 ^ ; — 













Sinigaglia . 




Mondavio . 




Mondolfo . 


Sta. Costanza 






La Fratta . 








Poggio di Berni 




La Tomba . 


Vat. Urb. MSS., No. 935. 

•-' Ibid. 


A report upon Urbino, drawn up for Urban VIII. during the 
last Duke's life, and preserved in the Albani Library, estimates 
the men trained to arms at from 8000 to 10,000, but badly 
officered, and ill-armed or accoutred. Since the Devolution, 
population had increased, and the last census of the legation, 
nearly corresponding with the duchy, gave 220,000 souls within 
an area of 180 square leagues, the city of Urbino containing 
7500, besides 4500 in the adjacent district. 

In 1574, few or none of the nobiUty drew from their estates a 
rental exceeding 3000 scudi, but there were many burgesses 
owning from 300 to 400 a year. The few merchants were chiefly 
foreigners. Most of the small towns had been dismantled of 
their fortifications, only some fifty having them kept in repair, of 
which about twenty belonged to as many petty feudatories. 

A writer soon after the Devolution states the Duke's revenues 
at 100,000 to 120,000 scudi, including 20,000 of Spanish subsidy, 
as much of allodial income, and 30,000 from escheats, penalties, 
and the port duties of SinigagHa, whence a great grain trade was 
carried on by the Venetians out of the Marca.^ Some years after 
the duchy had lost its independence, although this export was 
then prohibited by Urban VIII., and notwithstanding the loss of 
the allodial estates, the Camera drew above 100,000 scudi from 
direct and fiscal taxation. The militia at that time numbered 
8000 infantry and 500 cavalry, besides the garrison of SinigagHa. 
Hhefatforie, or allodial farms, yielded to the Duke 14,000 scudi 
when leased, but afterwards, when administered on his account, 
they produced 18,000 : the income from mills was about 6000; 
that of S. Leo 10,000, of which above 6000 were spent in main- 
taining the place. 

Some idea may be formed of the provisions for administering 
justice from a narrative compiled after the Devolution, but which 
expressly states the arrangements for this purpose to be the same 
as adopted by the Dukes. ^ The judges were entitled vicars or 
captains, podestas, commissaries, and lieutenants, and were 
removable at pleasure. The vicars or captains resided in certain 
small towns, and were notaries, who acted as judges and clerks 

1 Vat. Ottob. MSS., No. 3135, f. 279. 

2 Ibid., f. 277, 321. 

468 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. viii. 

within their assigned bounds. Their jurisdiction extended to all 
cases of injury or quarrel, which they were bound to decide 
according to the respective municipal statutes, or, in absence of 
such, according to those of Urbino, In civil causes they were 
limited to a certain amount ; above which, recourse was had to 
the judge of the chief district town. They had no proper 
criminal jurisdiction, but were bound to report all accidents to 
the sovereign, who frequently remitted to them to examine into 
slight delicts ; those inferring corporal punishment being sent to 
a doctor, under whom the vicar acted as clerk. The podestas 
were judges-ordinary in all civil and criminal cases within their 
bounds : and where there was no resident commissary or lieu- 
tenant, the public administration and police were intrusted to 
them ; to each of them there was assigned one clerk for criminal 
cases, called maieficj, and named by the Duke, and two for civil 
causes chosen by the community. The system of appeal from 
one of these courts to another, being founded upon local reasons, 
was complicated, and need not be detailed. The court of final 
resort in civil matters was the Collegiate Rota of Urbino, over 
which thirteen judges presided, five of whom were necessarily 
ecclesiastics. They held oftice for life, and vacancies were filled 
up by the sovereign from a leet of three voted by the remaining 
number. They sat twice a week, five being a quorum ; and they 
had also the review of ecclesiastical causes, in which, however, 
the lay members had only a consultive voice. In certain suits 
their decision might be brought under review of the sovereign. 

There were likewise three auditors, who had no ordinary 
jurisdiction, but sat daily in presence of the sovereign as an 
executive council, to whom all criminal matters were reported 
by the magistracy. Their salaries after the Devolution were 
400 scudi a year. They were also bound to take cognisance of 
all fiscal affairs, and of all complaints brought before them, and 
they were charged with the interests of widows and orphans, 
and generally with all matters voluntarily brought before them by 
consent of parties. After the Devolution, their salaries were 
400 scudi a year ; that of the fiscal advocate, 384 ; and of the 
secretary of justice, 320. The income of the judges, whom we 
have already mentioned as located in the towns and villages, 


varied from half a scudo yearly to 240 scudi, the latter being the 
pay of the Captain of Urbino. The lower class of these officers 
were all notaries, but, after allowing for professional gains and 
fees, such remuneration was disgracefully small, especially as it 
was paid in the ducal money, which had become depreciated to 
two-thirds of the currency value in the papal states. The pay of 
the legate was 1400 scudi, that of the vice-legate 600, besides 
about 1200 of fees. 


(Page 391 note*^) 




Se il chiaro Apelle con la man dell' arte 

Esemplo d' Alessandro il volto, e '1 petto, 

Non finse gia di pellegrin subjetto 

L' alto vigor, che 1' anima comparte. 
Ma Titian, che dal cielo ha maggior parte, 

Fuor niostra ogni invisible concetto ; 

Pero il gran Duca, nel dipinto aspetto, 

Scuopre le palme entro il suo cuor consparte. 
Egli ha il terror fra 1' uno e 1' altro ciglio, 

L' animo en gl' occhi, e 1' allerezza in fronte, 

Nel crin spatia 1' honor, siede il consiglio. 
Nel busto armato e nelle braccie pronte 

Arde il valor, che guarda dal periglio 

Italia sacra, e sua virtudi conte. 



L' union de' colori chi lo stile 

Di Titian distese, esprime fora 

La Concordia che regge in Leonora, 

E le ministre del spirto gentile. 
Seco siede modestia in atto humile, 

Ed honesta che in vesta sua dimora, 

Vergogna il petto, e '1 crin le vela e honora, 

L' effigia Amor lo sguardo signorile. 



Pudicitia, e belta nemiche eterne 

Le spatian nel sembiante, e fra le ciglia 
II trono delle Gratie si discerne. 

Prudenza il suo valor guarda, e consiglia 
Nel bel tacer, 1' alte virtudi interne 
Gli ornan la fronte d' ogni meraviglia. 


mistress's PORTRAIT. 

Ben potete con 1' ombre, e coi colori, 

Dotto Fitter rassimigliar al vero 

Quella belta, ch' ognor col mio pensiero 

Via pill bella, ping' io fra 1' herbe e i fiori : 
RIa quelle gratie, che i piu freddi cori 

Riscaldano, onde Amor ricco at altero 

Stende le braccie del suo dolce impero, 

Opra non e da chiari alti pittori. 
Se potete ritrar quel viso adorno, 

Quel girar de' begli occhi honesti e santi, 

Che ogni rara belta fa parer vile, 
Con pace sia d' ogni pittor gentile, 

E statue e tempii al vostro nome intorna 

Ergeran lieti i piu cortesi amanti. 


(Page 410) 


Most illustrious and most excellent Lord Duke, 

To your most illustrious Lordship have recourse these devoted 
petitioners, Mo. Bernardin Gagliardino and Co., Mo. Girolamo 
Lanfranchi, Mo. Rinaldo and Co., all makers of vases and bottles, 
citizens and inhabitants of Pesaro; Mo. Piermateo, and Mo. 
Bartolomeo Pignattari, citizens and indwellers of Pesaro ; and all 
the others who inhabit the county of Pesaro ; — setting forth how 
they find themselves continually, from year's end to year's end, 
subject to all sorts of burdens and imposts, exacted on real and 
personal property, and paying it with the sweat of their labour. 
They greatly complain how it seems to them wrong that strangers 
of their craft come into this city and district with similar produc- 
tions, to take bread out of their hand, at all seasons of the year, 
a thing not allowed to themselves in other countries. For which 
causes they propose to your most illustrious Lordship the follow- 
ing articles for your signature. 

First, that your Lordship would concede to them that no one, • 
stranger or townsman, shall, on any pretext, sell, or export forj 
sale from the city and district, earthen vases of whatever sort, 
excepting covered pans and oil-pitchers, or other vessels exceed- 
ing the size of a medrio ; declaring always that, at the fair, all 
may sell any kind of vases, but at no intermediate time, on pain 
of forfeiture, and a penalty of ten lire of Bologna for each 
offence, one-half to your illustrious Lordship's chamberlain, one- 
fourth to the informer, and the rest to the party enforcing it; 



always excepting figured vases of Urbino, and white ones from 
Urbino and Faenza. 

It is further desired that no inhabitant, not engaged in this art 
in the city or district, be permitted to purchase foreign produc- 
tions for resale, except those imported during the fair ; always 
under the like penalties on contravention hereof. 

And, in order to satisfy your Lordship that no inconvenience 
may arise to the city from this, they bind themselves hencefor- 
ward to see that it be constantly supplied with such vases as are 
required, and usually made therein, and especially with figured 
vases of beautiful and stately character, and this for the cus- 
tomary prices, these being in nowise altered ; and, in case of 
their departing from this, your Excellency shall be free to cancel 
these articles. 

Confirmed and enjoined as asked, but during our pleasure. 
Pesaro, 27th April, 1552. 

Fasseri, p. 34. 


(Page 411) 


To the most illustrious and most reverend Lord, my singu- 
lar Lord and patron, the Lord Cardinal of Urbino in 

Most illustrious and most reverend Lord, my singular Lord 
and patron, 

On arriving at Urbino, I ordered of Mo. Horatio [Fontana], 
vasaro, the service \credenza\ commissioned by your most affec- 
tionate and most reverend Lordship, for the most illustrious 
Monsignore Farnese. And, as there will be so many vases done 
with grotesques, in addition to the white ones (as per inclosed 
list), I could not manage it for less than thirty-six scudi, which, 
if I am not mistaken as to what he gets from others, is very good 
treatment. All the white pieces will have on the reverse the 
arms of Farnese in small, and I feel certain that the service will 
give satisfaction. He promises to deliver it finished in little 
more than a month, and, as an inducement to serve you well, as 
I trust he will do, I have, at his request, advanced him some 
money. If your illustrious Lordship please, let M. Ludovico 
Perucchi be written to, that he may pay the above-mentioned 
sum on account of this. As soon as finished, I shall get Horatio 
to pack it well, in order to go safely, and shall despatch it to 
Rome in such way as you shall direct. And, having no more to 
say, I remain humbly kissing your hands, and commending you 



to our Lord God, that, in his favour, he ever give you all your 
desires. From Urbino, the 2nd of March, 1567. 

Your most illustrious and most reverend Lordship's 
most humble servant, 

Your Archbishop. 

List of white pieces ivith arms on the reverse. 

I large cistern. 

I large bason, and i bottle. 

1 barber's bason, and small brush. 
6 great, and 1 2 middling dishes. 

6 large and 6 middling comfit dishes. 

2 vases for vinegar and oil, 4 salts. 
Tfi dishes, 50 smaller ditto. 

50 plates, 24 ditto \_piadene\. 

With grotesques. 

I large cistern. 

I bason and bottle. 

4 cups on raised stands. 

1 barber's bason and brush. 

2 salts. 



THE extent and value of the works of arts amassed 
by a series of sovereigns, who, during nearly two 
centuries, were continuously patrons of arts in its 
best days, cannot be uninteresting topics of inquiry, 
and fall within the scope of these volumes, as anj 
important test of the knowledge and taste of the collectors. 
The beautiful objects which Castiglione and others include 
among the attractions of the palace at Urbino have thus ac- 
quired an almost classic importance, and to identify them with! 
those now familiar to the travelled amateur were a pleasing 
result. Much more would it be so could we realise an ingeniousj 
theory put forward in the Quarterly Review^ that, by ascertain- 
ing what were the pictures first offered to the enthusiastic gazei 
of the youthful Raffaele, we might even now trace those earlj 
impressions of beauty which, reproduced by his fine genius anc 
taste, have been unanimously adopted as standards of pictorial| 
perfection. This gratifying hope is, however, delusive. To the 
ravages of two invasions, succeeded, in both instances, bj 
military usurpation, may perhaps be imputed the disappearance 
of almost every picture which could have existed in the palace 
previously to 1521, for very few such were found there on the 
extinction of the ducal house in 163 1. In order to throw everyl 
possible light upon this matter, I have spared no researches atj 
Urbino, Pesaro, and Florence, and, from a variety of inventories,] 
I have collected the facts which are now to be stated. 

The principal sources of this information have been. First, al 

1 Vol. LXVL, pp. 3-10. 


list of " good pictures," brought to Florence, in 1631, from the 
wardrobe of Urbino. It is in the archives of the Gallery degli 
Uffizii, at Florence, in the autograph of Pelli, and is obviously the 
document frequently referred to by him in his Galleria di Firenze. 
Second, a note of the objects of art in the Urbino inheritance, as 
inventoried by Bastiano Venturi in 1654. This is in a folio 
volume of inventories, preserved in the wardrobe archives of the 
Pitti Palace, and includes the succession of Duchess Livia, as 
well as that of her husband, the last Duke of Urbino. Third, 
selections from a full inventory of the wardrobe of Urbino, dated 
in 1623, and now No. 386 of the MSS. in the Oliveriana Library 
at Pesaro. Of these documents, the first is, unquestionably, of 
most importance as to the identity and value of the objects 
enumerated ; and the last, having been compiled by a person 
unacquainted with art, cannot be much depended upon. 

We may, however, estimate the extent of the collections in the 
different palaces of Francesco Maria II. from the Venturi inven- 
tory, and from another dated in 1623, which is No. 460 of the 
Oliveriana MSS. In the latter there are enumerated as at Pesaro 
(besides a series of sixty-two portraits in the gallery, sixty-nine 
maps, and a hundred and thirty-five plans of cities) eight hundred 
and forty-three pictures. This large amount includes apparently 
all the framed engravings, embroideries, and miniatures ; and a 
great proportion were portraits of the ducal family and their 
connections. The small number which have the painters' names 
assigned to them renders this, the fullest list, of little interest. In 
the same palace are mentioned sixty-four pieces in marble, chiefly 
busts ; and in various other palaces and chapels were some other 
pictures, seemingly of minor importance. The Venturi catalogue 
enumerates only ninety pictures;, seventy miniatures in oil, eleven 
embroideries, twenty-nine tapestries, eighty bronzes, enamels, and 
carvings, and fifty-one works in marble and stone. These seem 
to have been the principal objects reserved out of the inheritance, 
the remainder having probably been given away or sold at Pesaro 
and Florence. This selection bears evidence of care and con- 
noisseurship ; but that of Pelli having the best pretensions to 
these qualities, the pictures it names are fully given in the first 
of the lists here subjoined, ending with No. 50. In the two 

478 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. xii. 

subsequent ones, from Nos. 51 to 95, are included all other 
Urbino pictures of any moment which I have been able to glean 
from the inventories now described, and from other sources. To 
each picture is added such information regarding its identity as 
extended inquiry and observation have enabled me to hazard. 
Imperfect as it is, it will interest those who visit Florence, and 
may save them from very troublesome and often fruitless inquiries, 
which occupied me for many weeks. 



1. Madonna, Christ, and St. John Baptist, on panel. Pelli 
in a marginal note states this to be the Madonna della Seggiola, 
although he admits that a different extraction is by some assigned 
to that masterpiece. No picture thus described appears in the 
Pesaro inventories ; that of Venturi mentions one such, but calls 
it a copy after Raffaele. The Madonna della Seggiola, now 
No. 1 5 1 of the Pitti Gallery, is said by Passavant to have been 
in an inventory of the Tribune, dated 1585, of course long ante- 
cedent to the Devolution of Urbino. 

2. Madonna, Christ, St. John Baptist, and another 
Figure, on panel, large. In the Pesaro inventory, the Christ is 
said to be in arms ; in the Venturi, two pictures are noted of the 
Madonna, Christ, St. John Baptist, and St. Elizabeth, but both 
are called copies of Raffaele. No work now in the Florence 
galleries answers this description. 

3. His own Portrait on panel. It is described but not 
named by Venturi, and unquestionably is the small picture now 
among the portraits of painters in the Uffizi, No. 288. (See 
above, vol. II., p. 223.) 

4. 5. Julius II., on panel, and the same on paper. Of this 
famous portrait several repetitions contest the palm of originality. 
The two best probably are those in the Pitti, No. 79, and in the 
Tribune, both on panel ; the former, perhaps, has the advantage 
in breadth and mellow colouring, and I have heard the latter 
ascribed by Italian connoisseurs to a Venetian pencil.*^ Con- 

*' The Pitti portrait is an inferior replica of that in the Tribune of the 


sidering the relationship and intimacy of the Pope with the 
Dukes of both d5'nasties, there can be Httle doubt that they 
possessed an original likeness, as well as the original cartoon 
mentioned above. The latter has passed into the Corsini 
Gallery, at Florence, and is admirable in bold character as well 
as in preservation. The pricked outlines attest its having been 
used more than once ; and the first painting from it is understood 
to have been presented by his Holiness to the Church of the 
Madonna del Popolo, at Rome, a fane greatly favoured by the 
della Rovere. The Pesaro list includes the cartoon, and Venturi 
the panel portrait, which, according to the annotator of the last 
edition of Vasari (Florence, 1838), was that in the Tribune, the 
head alone of the Pitti one being, in his opinion, by Raffaele, 
the rest by Giulio Romano. Passavant, however, adjudges the 
palm of merit and originality to its rival in the Pitti collection, 
and considers it^the Urbino picture. 


6, 7. Duke Francesco Maria I., and his Duchess Leonora, 
on canvas. These are justly considered among the choicest 
portraits of this master, but are painted in very different styles, the 
Duke being treated with extraordinary freedom, the Duchess in 
a severe and somewhat hard manner, suited to her stiff matronly 
air. They ornament the Venetian room at the Uffizi, Nos. 605 
and 599, and the former supplies a frontispiece to this volume. 
Another portrait of him from the same hand is mentioned in 
Pelli's note. (See above, pp. 48, 58, 371-3.) 

8. Duke Guidobaldo [II.] Of this portrait I find no trace, 
though it is named in the Pesaro list, and may be that described 
by Venturi as in an antique dress. *^ 

9. Hannibal of Carthage, on canvas. Mentioned in the 
Pesaro inventory, but not now known. 

10. Madonna, Child, St. John Baptist, and St. Anna, on 
panel, large. No trace of this picture appears in any inventory, 
or Florentine gallery. 

11. The Nativity, on panel. Not mentioned elsewhere; it 

*^ Gronau thinks this portrait may be the so-called "Young Englishman" of 
the Pitti Gallery (No. 92). Cf. Gronau, op cit. 

48o MEMOIRS OF THE [App. xii. 

or the following may be the picture painted with a moonlight 
effect, now No. 443, of the Pitti Gallery ; or that described by 
Venturi as " a woman swaddling an infant."*^ 

12. QuEM GENUiT ADORAViT, OH panel; or the Madonna 
adoring her Child. This I have nowhere been able to identify. 
(See the preceding No., and also below, No. 20.) 

13. Madonna della Misericordia, on canvas. The Pesaro 
list tells us it came from the Imperiale villa, and contained the 
painter's portrait, with many figures. It is No. 484 of the Pitti 
collection, where it is assigned to Marco di Tiziano, the cousin 
and favourite pupil of Titian. Following the usual type, this 
" Madonna of Mercy " is represented as a gigantic female, whose 
outstretched arms infold under her ample mantle of compassion, 
six men, five women, and two children ; the eldest of the group 
is evidently Titian, and the rest are, no doubt, members of the 
Vecelli family. The picture was probably votive, in com- 
memoration of some signal mercy vouchsafed to his house. 

14. The Saviour, on panel. A half-length figure in profile, 
perhaps the finished study for some large composition. It is 
noted in all the inventories, and was carried by the French to 
Paris, but is now in the Pitti Palace, No. 228. 

15. EccE Homo, on panel. Also included in all the inven- 
tories, and probably the picture No. 330 of the Pitti Gallery, 
where it is called in the manner of Sebastian del Piombo.*^ 

16. Magdalen, on panel. This is now No. 67 in the Pitti 
collection ; a half-length, half-nude penitent, with variations from 
the frequent repetitions of the same subject by this master ; her 
eye, no longer tearful, is upraised with an expression of joyful 
hope : the penitent is at peace. (See above, p. 375.) 

17. Judith, on canvas. In the Pesaro inventory it is des- 
cribed as on panel, and both there and in Pelli's note it is 
ascribed to Titian or Palma Vecchio, whilst Venturi assigns it to 
Pordenone. It is now in the Venetian room of the Uftizi, with 
the name of Pordenone, and is on panel.* ^ 

18. Naked woman lying, large, life-size, on canvas. All 

*' This picture is not by Titian, but by Marco Vecellio. 
*- This picture no longer hangs in the Pitti Gallery. 
*^ No. 6J9, Uffizi, I suppose. It is by Palma Vecchio. 


who have visited the Tribune of the Uffizi Gallery are acquainted 
with two companion full-length pictures of nude females, which 
are conspicuous among its treasures of art. Both are called 
Venus; but though one has the unquestionable accompaniment 
of a Cupid, with a landscape behind, the other contains no attri- 
bute of the amorous goddess, but is the portrait of a lovely 
woman laid uncovered on her bed, whilst two attendants in the 
back part of the room prepare her dress. To the latter, there- 
fore, the above description, which is alike in all the Urbino 
inventories, must unquestionably apply; and it thus affords us an 
easy solution of the doubts as to which of the two pictures came 
from Urbino, originating in the confused and incorrect descrip- 
tions of Ridolfi and Vasari. The popular idea is that Titian 
here portrayed a mistress or favourite of Duke Guidobaldo of 
Urbino ; but Cigognara has adopted the conjecture that in her 
features may be traced an ideaUsed likeness of his mother 
Leonora. We must reject an idea so outraging her well-known 
modesty of demeanour ; and upon comparing the sweetly sensual 
countenance of the naked beauty with the almost stern dignity 
of that Duchess, as represented in her portrait, No. 7 of this 
catalogue, the resemblance seems limited to an oval face and 
auburn complexion. The spaniels which attend on both ladies, 
introduced in these pictures, though of the same breed, are cer- 
tainly different animals. Greater probability attaches to a notion 
that the nude female's features agree with those of the Bella and 
the Flora of Titian, described in the next number of this list ; 
and as both of these came from Urbino, we may conjecture that 
all three were painted from some noted beauty of that court. 
Another supposition, has, however, been adopted by Mrs. Jame- 
son, that the original was Violante Palma, Titian's first love, and 
a favourite model in his school. The Tribune picture is generally 
admitted to be the finest of Titian's so-called Venuses, and 
has been even assigned the same place among paintings as the 
Medicean Venus holds in sculpture. (See above, p. 374). 

19. Another portrait of the same naked woman, but 

DRESSED, more than half-length. This is considered to be the 

attractive picture so universally admired under the name of Titian's 

Bella, of the Pitti collection, in which gorgeous costume and 

in. — 2 I 

482 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. xii. 

rich beauty seem carried to the utmost point. It does not ap- 
pear in the other Urbino inventories, but in that of Venturi we 
find a Season on canvas by Titian, which I apprehend to be the 
famed Flora, now an ornament of the Venetian room at the 
Uffizi, and stated in the Reale Galleria di Firenze (edition 1817) 
to have come from Urbino, and to be a half-length, half-nude, 
portrait of the same model who sat for No. 18 of this catalogue. 
The title of Queen Cornara of Cyprus sometimes given to the 
Bella is palpably one of those misnomers so unpardonably com- 
mon in picture galleries. 

20. Madonna, Child, and two Angels, Baroccio after 
Titian. Of this picture an original by Titian on panel is in 
Venturi's list, as well as a copy of it on canvas. I have not 
been able to find either; but the original may be that entered at 
No. 12 of this catalogue. 

21. Madonna, St. John, and St. Elizabeth, large, on 
panel, a fine copy. I have not succeeded in tracing the work. 


22. Portrait of an armed soldier, supposed to be Uguccione 
DELLA Faggiolo. Not traced. 

Sebastian del Piombo. 

23. St. Agatha, large, on panel. It appears in all the in- 
ventories, and was one of the most important pictures in the 
Urbino succession. Representing the horrible dismemberment 
of the martyred saint, the subject is most revolting, but in energy 
of treatment and power of colouring, it ranks among the chef- 
d'oeuvres of the master, whose name it bears, with the date, Rome 
1520. It now adorns the Pitti Palace, No. 179, after having 
visited Paris. 

Palma Vecchio. 

24. The Saviour, on canvas. Not found. 

25. The Madonna, large on canvas. Not found. 

26. St. Francis, large, on canvas ; not found. None of 
these three pictures appear in the other lists. 


The Bassani. ; 

27. A Supper. This was, doubtless, the Cenacolo, No. 446 
in the Pitti Gallery, assigned to Leandro Bassano. 

28, 29. The building and entering of the Ark, These 
are, probably, the companion pictures in the corridor of the 
Uffizi, which seem poor copies, though ascribed to Francesco. 
Of the latter, representing the Deluge, there is on the same wall 
a large and fine repUca with his name, and a picture of animals 
entering the ark with the name of Jacopo. 

30. Composition of Figures and Animals. It is stated by 
the Pesaro list to have come from the chapel in the lower gardens 
of that city, and may have been the large picture of the Rich 
Man and Lazarus, now in the corridor of the Uffizi, where it 
bears the name of Francesco. 

31-34. Four Pictures. As there are fourteen pictures of 
the Bassani in the Uffizi, and five in the Pitti, besides those 
noticed above, and several portraits, it would be idle to attempt 
identifying these four. All these eight works of this family are 
noted in the Pesaro list, but omitted in Venturi's. 


35. Portrait of S, A. S. This is probably to be read Sua 
Altezza Serenissima Francesco Maria II., the last Duke of 
Urbino, now an ornament of the Tribune. It is a half-length on 
canvas, in armour richly inlaid in steel and gold, his helmet by 
his side and a scarf across his shoulder, being, as we learn from 
the Pesaro list, the uniform in which he returned from his naval 
expedition; a circumstance which fixes the date in 1572, when 
the Duke was in his twenty-third, and the painter in his forty- 
fourth, year. Nothing can surpass the fluid harmony and 
pellucid colouring of this picture, equally remarkable for breadth 
and high finish, but the feeble design apparent in the arms renders 
it impossible to give by the burin a favourable impression of its 
merit. I have therefore preferred engraving for this work a 
much less brilliant portrait obtained by me at Pesaro. A 
repetition of the Tribune picture, less clear but still more charm- 
ing, graces the select gallery of Baron Camuccini at Rome. 

484 MEMOIRS OF THE [App.xii. 

36. Visitation of the Madonna, on canvas, painted, 
according to the Pesaro inventory, for the chapel there, on 
the visit of Pope Clement VIII. in 1598. It has disappeared. 

37. Magdalen, on canvas. There are two pictures of this 
subject, and another in the Venturi list, one on panel, one on 
canvas, the latter of which is described as " the Magdalen in the 
Wilderness." I have not found either of them ; but a Magdalen 
in devotion with Christ, upon canvas, is noted in the Pesaro 
inventory, and may probably be the large and fine picture now in 
the Sala di Baroccio at the Uffizi, known as Noli me iangere, in 
which the Saviour appears to the Magdalen after His resurrection. 

38. Madonna, St. Francis, and St. Ubaldo, on canvas, 
unfinished. No doubt one of the votive pictures commissioned 
on the birth of Prince Federigo. (See above.) It has dis- 

39. Portrait of Maestro Prospero, a Franciscan monk, 
half-length, on canvas ; called by Venturi a Minim Observantine 
friar. Not identified. 

The Zuccari. 

40. Portrait of Duke Guidobaldi [II.] in armour, his 
HAND UPON a dog's HEAD. In the Pesaro inventory it is said 
to be on panel ; in that of Venturi it is ascribed to Baroccio. It 
has disappeared, but a bad copy is preserved in the Albani 
Palace at Urbino. 

41. St. Peter in Prison, large. This picture is engraved 
at No. 373 of the folio work on the Pitti Gallery, and is said by 
Vasari to have been painted for Duke Guidobaldo II., by 
Federigo Zuccaro when about twenty-three years of age. It 
ranks among his best works; for though the idea is borrowed 
from Raffaele's fresco, the treatment and the effect of chiaroscuro 
are original and good. .The heavy grated window and the 
monotonous colouring are however injurious to the work. 

42. Head of St. Francis, on canvas. Lost, unless it be the 
Vision of the Saint in a wide landscape, on panel, No. 482 of 
the Pitti Gallery, where it is called anonymous. The Pesaro list 
describes him as in a landscape, by Federigo Zuccaro. 

43. Calumny, large, by Federigo, unnoticed in the othei 
inventories, and undiscovered. 




44. Christ with Nicodemus, Nicolas, and two Angels, 
on canvas. Of this I can ascertain nothing. 


45. Pope Sixtus IV., on panel. The Venturi inventory notes 
a similar anonymous portrait, by Baroccio, and one on panel of 
a Pope by Titian. This and the following number may be the 
portraits quoted as Titian's by Vasari. 

46. Pope Paul III., on panel. Perhaps No. 297 in the Pitti 
Palace, where it is ascribed to Paris Bordone, and of which I 
have seen several good repetitions. The Venturi inventory con- 
tains another panel portrait of an anonymous pope by Titian. 

47. Duke Francesco Maria I. in armour, on canvas. 
Perhaps a copy of No. 6, above. 

4S. Duke Guidobaldo, on panel; unknown. Possibly the 
original of the likeness engraved for this work of Guidobaldo II. 

49. A Lady in a dark antique dress, with a shell in her 
hand, on canvas. Of this nothing is known. 

50. Magdalen nearly naked, on canvas, described in the 
Pesaro list as reading a book. Not found. 

Having now gone through Pelli's note of selected pictures, we 
shall complete our materials for estimating the Urbino collec- 
tions, by adding such other works as are mentioned in the 
Venturi and Pesaro inventories. 


Raff able. 

51. The Duke of Urbino, a profile in half-armour, on 
canvas. This was probably the portrait mentioned by Bembo in 
a letter, wherein he speaks of it as a much less successful likeness 
than that of the poet Tibaldeo. 

52. Marriage of the Madonna, a copy on canvas, no doubt 

486 MEMOIRS OF THE [App. xii. 

from the fine picture now in the Brera at Milan, which was 
painted for the church of S. Francesco, at Citt^ di Castello. 

53. LucREZiA, copy on panel. Of this neither the original 
nor the copy are known. 


54. Madonna, Christ, St. Joseph, and St. Elizabeth, on 
panel. Not identified. 

55. Madonna, Christ, and St. John Baptist, on panel. 
Not identified. 

56. Portrait of a foreign Lady, small, on panel. Not 

57. Portrait of a Man in an antique dress, on panel. 
Not identified. 

58. A Man armed with a morion and shield, on canvas, 
after Titian, Not identified. 


59. Madonna with Christ in her arms, St. Augustin, and 
St. Francis, on canvas. Not found. 

60. Christ in a Cradle, Madonna, St. John, and St. 
Elizabeth, on canvas. Not found. 

61. St. Francis, on panel. Not found. 

62. A Man with a chemisette, on canvas; probably the 
half-length of Duke Francesco Maria II., with six gold buttons, 
mentioned in the Pesaro inventory, and of which No. 162 of the 
Pitti collection seems a finished head study on paper. 

63. Marchese Ippolito della Rovere, on canvas. Not 

64. Monsignore Giuliano della Rovere, on canvas. Not 

65. The Saviour with the Globe in his Hand, after 
Baroccio. Now No. loi in the Pitti Palace, where it is called 
by Baroccio. A poor picture. 


66. A Woman in an antique dress, on panel. This may 
refer to Antonello di Messina. Not found. 

App.xii.] dukes of URBINO 487 

67. Petrarch and Laura painted bookwise. This is doubt- 
less a blundering description of the heads of Duke Federigo 
and Duchess Battista of Urbino, by Pietro della Francesca, 
placed like a diptych or book in the same frame. They have 
been engraved at Volume I., p. 120, of this work, from the 
originals among the miscellaneous Italian pictures in the Uffizi. 

68. A Franciscan Friar teaching mathematics to another 
person, on panel. This is ascribed to Ghirlandajo or Signorelli, 
but the subject makes it more probably a work of Pietro della 
Francesca, court painter to Duke Federigo. I have found no 
such picture. 


69. A Duke of Urbino, on canvas. Probably Guidobaldo I., 
but unfortunately lost. 


70. Two Dukes of Saxony, bookwise, small. They are 
Frederick III. and John I. ; now in the German room of the 
Uffizi, where they are ascribed to Lucas Cranach. 


71. Christ receiving St. Peter, on panel; a small picture. 
Not found. 

72. Christ with his foot upon a serpent's skin \scogiio?ie], 
on panel ; a small picture. Not found. 

The Zuccari. 

73. A WOMAN with a cockle-shell in her hand, on canvas. 
Not found. 

74. Madonna, Christ, and St. John Baptist, on panel, after 
Jacopo * * * *. Not found. 


75. The Nativity, on panel. Not identified. 

V. Dandini. 

76. Aurora, on canvas. Not found. 

488 MEMOIRS OF THE [App.xii. 

Il Cerretani. 

77. The Nativity, on canvas. Not found. 

78. Portrait of Queen Mary of France. This may have 
been Mary de' Medici by Scipione Gaetani, No. 192 of the Pitti 

79. Virtue expelling the Vices. Not found. 

80-88. Six Dukes of Urbino and three Popes; all small 
pictures on canvas. 


89. Madonna, Christ, and St. Joseph, on panel. Not 
found in the other inventories, nor in the galleries at Florence. 

90. Magdalen, on panel; behind it the arms of Duke 
Francesco Maria II. and his Duchess Lucrezia d'Este. Not 
elsewhere known. 


91. The Duchess of Camerino in an antique dress, on 
canvas. Not found. 

92. A Soldier in dark armour, on canvas. Not found. 


93. The Crucifixion, with the palace of Urbino introduced 
in the background, on canvas. Not found. 

The Zuccari. 

94. The Crucifixion, with a city below, on canvas. Not 

GiuLio Clovio. 

95. A MINIATURE, was probably the Pieta on vellum. No. 241 
of the Pitti collection. A group treated with great breadth, and 
coloured with much delicacy. 

The following pictures, in the Pitti palace, though not in the 
Urbino inventories, are closely connected with the family 
della Rovere, and the first of them must have come from 

App.xil] dukes of URBINO 489 

96. Prince Federigo, by Baroccio, on canvas, No. 55. 
The babe lies in his cradle swaddled, his dress and coverlet em- 
broidered in flowers and gold; inscription above, Federigo 
Prin d' Urb" quando nacque 1605. 


by Sustermans, on canvas, No. 116. She is in the character 
of the Vestal Tuccia, with a sieve under her arm, full of water ; 
a half-length figure, stout and comely, with a pleasant expression. 

98. The Grand Duchess Vittoria, her Husband, and her 
Son Cosmo III., by Sustermans, on canvas, No. 231. This 
picture is called in the catalogue a Holy Family ; but though the 
grouping of the figures appears borrowed from some such com- 
position, there seems no real ground for this alleged impiety. 
They are half-lengths ; the Grand Duchess has a darker com- 
plexion, and is somewhat older than in the preceding number. 




THE following List, though by no means containing 
all the books which have been looked into or 
consulted (especially numerous periodicals), will 
afford a general idea of the authorities upon which 
this work has been founded. The MSS. specially 
noted are, however, but a small portion of what has been 
examined, in a variety of Archives, and in the Vatican, Minerva, 
Angelica, Gerusalemme, S. Lorenzo in Lucina, and Albani 
libraries at Rome ; in those of the Borbonica and S. Angelo in 
Nilo at Naples ; in the Laurentiana, Magliabechiana, Riccar- 
diana, Maruccelli, and Pitti at Florence; in those of the 
University and S. Salvadore at Bologna ; and in the public 
libraries of Pesaro, Perugia, Rimini, Cesena, Siena, Volterra, 
and Monte Cassini. In the Oliveriana at Pesaro alone, up- 
wards of one hundred MS. volumes yielded notices of interest. 
The MSS. in the British Museum have also been freely consulted, 
and not without fruit. 

Afifo, Vita di M. Bernardino Baldi i vol. 8vo. 

Agincourt, Histoire de I'Art 6 vols, folio. 

Alberi, Relazioni Veneti 7 vols. 8vo. 

Alberti, MSS. di Torquato Tasso i vol. folio. 

Andreozzi, Notizie di Citta di Castello . . . . i vol. i2mo. 

Antiquitates Picene lO vols. 4to. 

Archivio Storico d' Italia lo vols. 8vo. 

Ariosto, Opere Complete 5 vols. Svo. 

, Orlando Furioso, translated by Stewart Rose . . 3 vols. Svo. 

Armanni, Famiglia de' Bentivoglii i vol. Svo. 

Atanagi Rime Scelte I vol. l2mo. 

Audin, Histoire de Leon X i vol. i2mo. 



Baldi, Vita e Fatti di Federigo Duca di Urbino . 

Guidobaldo I. Duca di Urbino 

Baldinucci, Notizie de' Professori di Disegno 
Baruffaldi, Vita di Ariosto .... 

Bernardino Baldi 

Bellori, Vita de' Pittori, Scultori, de Architetli 
Bembo, Opere Diverse .... 
Berni, Chronicon Eugubinum 
Bettinelli, Resorgimento delle Arti in Italia 
Biographie Universelle .... 
Biondi, Italia Illustrata .... 
Black's Life of Tasso .... 

Blount, Censura Celebriorum Authorum 
Boccaccio e Betussi, delle Donne illustri 
Boccalini, Ragguaglio di Pamasso 
Bonaparte, Sac di Rome .... 
Bonfatti, Memorie Istoriche di Ottaviano Nelli 
Borghini, il Riposo ..... 
Bossi, Istoria d' Italia .... 

Bottari, Dialoghi sopra le Arti di Disegno . 

, Raccolta di Lettere Pittoriche 

Bradford's Correspondence of Charles V. 
Brantome, Capitains illustres e Dames illustres 
Brown, Rawdon, Ragguaglii sulla Vita di Marino Sanuto 
Bruschelli, la Cita di Assisi 
Buonaccorsi Diario ..... 
Burriel, Vita di Caterina Riario Sforza 
Burtin, Traite des Connoissances necessaires aux Amateurs 
des Tableaux ..... 

Calogeriana, Opuscula e Nuova Raccolta 

Cambray, Histoire de la Ligue de 

Campanno, Vita di Braccio Fortebracci e di Nicolo Piccinino 

Cancellieri, Opere Varie .... 

Casa, della, il Galateo .... 

Carli, Zecca d' Italia ..... 

Carmina Illustrium Poetarum Italiae . 

Castiglione, il Corteggiano 

, Lettere e Opere 

Cebrario, Economia Politica del Medio Evo 
Cellini, Vita Scritta da lui Medesimo 
Cicognara, Storia della Scultura 
Cimarelli, del Ducato di Urbino 
Collucci, Uomini Illustri del Piceno 
Colonna, Vittoria, Opere e Vita di 
Comines, Memoires de Philippe de 


3 vols. 8vo. 
2 vols. 8vo. 
14 vols. 8vo. 
I vol. 8vo. 
I vol. 8vo. 
I vol. 4to. 
6 vols, folio. 

I vol. 
80 vols. 

1 vol. 

2 vols. 
I vol. 

I vol. 
I vol. 
I vol. 
I vol. 
I vol. 
19 vols. 
I vol. 
7 vols. 
I vol. 

3 vols. 
3 vols. 
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I vol. 
3 vols. 

1 2mo. 

2 vols. 8vo. 

90 vols. 
I vol. 
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I vol. 
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5 vols. 

1 vol. 

2 vols. 

4 vols. 
I vol. 

3 vols. 
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6 vols. 
I vol. 
3 vols. 



















Commentaria Pii II. et Epistolae 

ComoUi, Vita inedita di Raffaello da Urbino 

, Bibliographia Architettonica 

Conca, Viaggio Odeporico in Ispagna 
Condivi, Vita di Michelangelo Buonarroti 
Corio, ristoria di Milano .... 
Crescimbeni, Istorio della Volgar Poesia 
Cunningham's Life of Wilkie 
Dante, La Divina Comedia 

translated by Carey 

Daru, Histoire de Venise .... 
Denina, Revoluzioni d' Italia 

Descamps, Vie de Peintres Flamands et Hollandois 
Didier, Campagne de Rome .... 
Discorsi Militari di Francesco Maria I. Duca di Urbino 

Sopra gli Spettacoli Italiani nel Secolo xiv 

Dizionario Geografico Universale 

Dolce, Dialogo della Pittura .... 

Domenichi, la Nobilita delle Donne . 

Donato, Vita di Francesco Maria II. Duca di Urbino 

Duppa, Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti 

Eccardius, Corpus Historicum Medii /Evi . 

Fabroni, Laurentii Medicis Vita .... 
Fea, Notizie intorno a Raffaele .... 
Feretrense, de Episcopatu ..... 
Filelfi, Epistolse Familiares .... 

Fleetwood's Chronicura Preciosum ... 
Fortebracci, Lettera della Famiglia Fortebracci . 
Fuseli's Life and Writings .... 

Gaillard, Histoire de Francois I. . . . 

Galleria degli Uffizii di Firenze .... 
GuUuzzi, Storia della Toscana .... 
Gaye, Carteggio d' Artisti ..... 
Genealogies Historiques des Maisons Souveraines 
Gibbon, Recherches sur le Titre de Charles VIII. a la 
Couronne de Naples ..... 

, Antiquities of the House of Brunswick . 

Ginguene, Histoire Litt^raire d' Italic 

Giovio, Raggionamento sopra i motti ed impresi 

, Vita de' Dodeci Visconti 

di Francesco Sforza 

Illustrium Virorum Vitce 

Gordon's Life of Alexander VI. and Cesare Borgia 

I vol. 
I vol. 

1 vol. 

2 vols. 
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1 vol. 
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2 vols. 

3 vols, 
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8 vols. 
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12 vols. 
I vol. 
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1 2mo. 

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3 vols. 8vo. 

5 vols. 8vo. 
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5 vols. 4to. 
3 vols. 8vo. 
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9 vols. 8vo. 
I vol. I2m(l 
I vol. I2m€ 
I vol. I2mc 
I vol. folio. 
I vol. folio. 



Gresswell's Memoirs of Italian Literature 
Grossi, Uomini lUustri di Urbino 
Gualandi, Memorie delle Belle Arti . 
Guicciardini, Istoria d' Italia 
, Sacco di Roma 

Hallam's View of Europe in the Middle Ages 
Hystoire de la Conqueste de Naples par Charles VIII 

Kugler's Handbook of the History of Painting . 

Lanz, Correspondenz der Kaiser Carl V. 

Lanzi, Storia Pittorica dell' Italia 

Lazzari, Opera Miscellanea .... 

, Memorie di Pittori Celebri di Urbino 

, Chiese di Urbino ..... 

, Guida di Urbino ..... 

Lazzarini, Dissertazioni in Materia di Belle Arti 
Leandro Alberti, Descrizione d' Italia 
Lectures on Painting, by Barry, Opie, and Fusseli 
Leoni, Vita di Francesco Maria II. Duca d' Urbino 
Lettere de' Principi ...... 

degli Uomini Illustri .... 


Life of Joanna II. Queen of Naples 

Lindsay's Sketches of the History of Christian Art 

Litta, Famiglie Celebri d' Italia 

Lomazzo, Idea del Tempio della Pittura 

, L'Arte della Pittura .... 

Machiavelli, Opera ...... 

Malvasia, La Felsina Pittrice .... 

Mambrino Rcseo, Istoria di Napoli . 
Mancini, Istoria di Citta di Castello . 
Marchese, Galleria d' Onore .... 

, Memorie dei Pittori Domenicani 

Marini, Saggio della Citta di S. Leo . 
Mariotti, Lettere Pittoriche Perugine . 


Masse, Histoire d' Alexandre VI. et de Cesar Borgia 
Mazzuchelli, Vita di Pietro Aretino 

, Notizie intorno Isotta da Rimini 

M'Crie's History of the Reformation in Italy 
Memorie concernenti la Citta da Urbino 

la Devoluzione di Urbino . 

Mezeray, Abrege de I'Histoire de France . 
Mezzanotte, Vita e Opere di Pietro Perugino 


I vol. 8vo. 
I vol. 4to. 
I vol. 8vo. 
8 vols. 8vo. 
I vol. 8vo. 

3 vols. 8vo. 
I vol. 8vo. 

I vol. 8vo. 

2 vols. 
4 vols. 

6 vols. 
I vol. 
I vol. 

1 vol. 

2 vols. 

I vol. 
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1 vol. 

7 vols. 

2 vols. 

3 vols, 

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3 vols. 
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Michiel, Origine delle Feste Veneziane 
Michiels, La Peinture Flamande et Hollandais 
Milizia, dell' Arte di Vedere nelle Belle Arti 

, Dizionario delle Belle Arte 

, deir Architettura Civile 

Milman's Life of Tasso .... 

Misserini, Vito di Raffaele 

Molini, Documenti per la Storia d' Italia . 

Montalembert, du Vandalisme et du Catholicisme dans 1' Art 

Montanari, L'Imperiale di Pesaro .... 

Morbio, Municipia d'ltalia 

Morelli, Notizie delle Opere di Disegno 

Mortali Spoglie di Raffaele 

Muzio, Historia de' Fatti di Federigo Duca di Urbino 

Muratori, Annali d' Italia 

, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores 

Nardii, Le Historia di Firenze ..... 

Nicholas's Chronology of History .... 

Odasio, Elogio di Guidobaldo II. Duca di Urbino 
Olivieri, Opere Diverse 
Olympia Morata 
Orsini, Guida di Perugia 

, Lettere Pittoriche Perugine 

, Vita di Pietro Perugino . 

Paciolo, Summa di Arithmetica e Geometria 

Passavant, Leben v. Raphael 

Passeri, Istoria delle Pitture in Majolica 

Pelli, la Galleria di Firenze 

Pignotti, Storia della Toscana 

Platina, delle Vite de' Pontefici 

Poggio de Varietate Fortunse 

Vita di Nicolo Piccinino 

Pontano, de Bello Neapolitano 

Promis, Trattato di Architettura di Francesco di Giorgio 

Pungileone, Elogio Storico di Giovanni Santi 

Raffaele Sanzio 


— Timoteo della Vite 

Quadrio, della Storia d'ogni Poesia .... 
Quatremere de Quincy, Vita e Opere di Raffaele Sanzio 
voltato in Italiano da Longhena .... 

4 vols. 
4 vols. 

1 vol. 

2 vols. 

1 vol. 

2 vols. 

1 vol. 

2 vols. 

I vol. 

I vol. 

4 vols. 

I vol. 

I vol. 

I vol. 
40 vols. 
25 vols. 















I vol. 4to. 

I vol. 2mo. 

I vol. i2mo. 

3 vols. 4to. 

I vol. 8vo. 

I vol. 8vo. 

I vol. 8vo. 

I vol. 8vo. 

1 vol. 

2 vols. 

1 vol. 

2 vols. 

5 vols. 
I vol. 
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7 vols. 4to. 
I vol. 8vo. 


Racheli, Discorso intorno a Vittorino da Feltro . 
Raimondo, de Fluxu Maris ..... 

Ranghiasci, Bibliographia Storica dello Stato Papale 
Ranke die Romischen Piipste ihre Kirche und ihr Staat 
Raoul Rochette, Catacombe di Roma 
Ratti, Vita dei Sforza ...... 

Raynaldi, Annales Ecclesiastici ..... 

Reynolds's Discourses ...... 

Ricci, Memorie Istoriche dalle Arti della Marca di Ancona 
Richa, le Chiese di Firenze ..... 

Ricotti, Storia delle Compagnie di Ventura in Italia . 
Ridolfi, le Maraviglie dell' Arte .... 

Rinuccini, Ricordi Storici ...... 

Rio, La Poesie Chretienne ..... 

Riposati, Zecca di Gubbio ...... 

Robertson's Reign of Charles XII. .... 

Roscoe, Life of Lorenzo de' Medici .... 

and Pontificate of Leo X. . . . 

voltata in Italiano da 

Bossi . 
Rosini, Istoria della Pittura Italiana .... 

Raskin's Modern Painters 

Russell's History of Modern Europe .... 

Sansovino, Famiglie Illustri d' Italia .... 

Sanuto, La Guerra di Ferrara 

Simonetta, Historia de Rebus Gestis Francisci Sfortie 
Sismondi, Histoire des Franfais ..... 

des Republiques d' Italic 

de la Renaissance de la Liberte en Italic 

de la Literature du Midi de I'Europe 

I vol. 
I vol. 
I vol. 

3 vols. 
I vol. 

I vol. 
8 vols. 

1 vol. 

2 vols. 
2 vols. 

4 vols. 
I vol. 
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1 vol. 

2 vols. 

3 vols. 

3 vols. 

4 vols. 
















4 to. 




Spalding's Italy 

Specimen Translations of Sonnets from celebrated Italian 
Poets . . . . 

1 1 vols. 8vo. 
8 vols. 8vo. 
2 vols. 4to. 
5 vols. 8vo. 

I vol. 4to. 
I vol. 4to. 

1 vol. i2mo. 
31 vols. 8vo. 
14 vols. 8vo. 

2 vols, 8vo. 
4 vols. 8vo. 

3 vols. i2mo. 

I vol. i2mo. 

Tarcagnotta, Istorie del Mondo, con agguinte di Mambrino 
Roseo ........ 

Tasso, Bernardo, Lettere e Vita da Seghezzi 

, Amadigi ..... 

, Torquato, Opere di, Raccolte da Rosini 

Tesoro Politico ....... 

Ticozzi, Dizionario dei Pittori, &c. 
Tiraboschi, Storia della Literatura Italiana 
Tommasi, Vita di Cesare Borgia 
Tondini, Vita di Franceschino Marchetti . 
Tresor Numismatique e Glyptique 

4 vols. 4to. 
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1 vol. 4to. 
30 vols. 8vo. 

4 vols. 8vo. 
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2 vols. i2mo. 
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Trestour, Quadro Generale dello Stato Ponteficio 
TuUia di Arragona, Poesie di . . . . 

Valle, Lettere Sanesi .... 

Valturio de Re Militari .... 
Vasari, Opere Diverse .... 

Vermiglioli, Vita di Pinturicchio 
Vergilio, Polydoro da, Historia Anglicana 

, De Rerum Inventoribus 

Viardot, les Musees d'ltalie 

, Notice des Peintres de I'Espagne . 

Vigne, Andry de la, Vergier d'Honneur 
Villani, Chronice Fiorentine 
Vinci, Leonardo, Trattato della Pittura 
Voltaire, Essai sur les Moeurs 

Waagen, Art and Artists in England . 
Watt's Bibliotheca Britannica 

Watson's Philip II 

Wilde's Love and Madness of Tasso . 

Zanetti, Medaglie d' Italia . 

, Memorie Istoriche di Rimini 

, Zecca di Rimini 

Zazzara, Nobilita d' Italia . 

I vol. i2mo. 

3 ols 


^ vols. 


II vols. 


I vol. 


I vol. 


I vol. 


I vol. 


I vol. 



I vol. 


3 vols 


3 vols. 


4 vols. 


3 vols 


2 vols. 


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No. 1023, f. 23. Federici Urbini Ducis Vita, auct. Johanne Galli ; writte 

about 1565, at Citta di Castello. 
No. 938. Sketch of him by Aloysio Guido da Cagli, in Latin. 
No. loii. His life by Muzio Giustinopoli, more full than the printed 

No. 941. Vespasiano, Commentario de' Gesti e Fatti e Detti de Federigd 

Duca di Urbino : printed in Spicelegium Romanum, i. 94. 
No. 980. Epitome Vit;^ Rerumque Gestarum Federici Urbini Ducis, auct 

Julio Cesare Capaccio Neapolitano, 1636. 
No. 303, 699, 1293. Various Latin poems by Federigo Veterani as to" 

No. 928, f. 16. Antichita di S. Leo, da Giulio Volpelli, 1576. 
No. 702. Mariffi Philelfi artium et utriusque juris doctoris, equitis aurati et 

poetce laureati, ad ill. atque inclyt. Principem Federicum de Monte- 

feretro, Comitem Urbinatem, Martiados, 1464. 
No. 804. His vulgar poetry, passim. 
No. 373, 710, and 709. PorceUii Feltria, and other poems laudatory of 

Duke Federigo and his house. 


No. 373, f. 145. Naldi de Naldi, Volterrse Expugnatio. 

No. 743. Panegericon Comitis Federici, per Antonium Rusticum de 

Florentia, 1472. 
No. 1 198. Federici Urbini Ducis Epistolce. There are ninety-three of 

these, all in Latin. 
No. 1233. Odasii, Oratio habita in Funere Ducis Federici. 
No. 1236. Oratio habita in Funere Battistee Urbini Comitissae ; also in 

No. 1272. 
No. 829, f. 551. Ricordi del Duca Federigo. 
No. 1323, art. 5. Ricordi di Paolo Maria, Vescovo di Urbino. 
No. 904, f. 43. Memorie di quanto si fece nel tempo che il Duca di 

Valentino prese lo Stato. 
No. 1023, fol. I, 297, &c. Various lives and notices of the della Rovere 

family by Fra Gratia di Francia. 
No. 1682. Sundries as to Julius II. 
No. 906. Baldi, Vita di Francesco Maria I. Duca di Urbino, colla Diffesa 

contra Guicciardini. 
No. 1023, f. 255. Baldi Diffesa di lui, and other sundries as to him. 
No. 1023, f. 50. Muzio, Vita di lui. 
No. 818, f. 444. II Batessimo del Principe Federigo. 
No. 733, fol, 8. II. Epigrammata in ejus Natalibus. 
No. 818, f. 5. Nobilta della Casa di Montefeltro. 
No. 736, 351, 368, and 405. Urbani Urbinatis Familia Feltresca. 
No. 992. Cronico di Sinigaglia. 

No. 819, f. 335. Ritratto delle Actioni di Francesco Maria I. 
No, 489. De Rebus GestisquK contigerunt circa ann. ifOQ- 
No. 1037. Memorie Storiche di Francesco Maria I. 
No. 921. La Ricuperazione del suo Stato, nel anno 1521. 
No. 904. Various Diaries regarding Guidobaldo I. 
No. 928, f. 16, VolpeUi, Storsa di S, Leo, 
No, 907, f. 10. Centelli, de Bello Urbinate. 
No. 989. Leoni, Francisci Marice I. Vita. 
No. 924, Philippi Beroaldi, Defensio Francisci Marice I. 
No. 632. Petrus Burgensis Pictoris, de quinque Corporibus regularibus. 
No. 818, f. 560. Vita di Baldassare Castiglione, 
No. 124S. Ordine e Offizii della Corre di Urbino. 
No. 1677. II Sacco di Roma. 

No. 935, 1232. Documents regarding the Statistics of Urbino. 
No, 497-8. P, Virgilii Historia Angliae, 
No. 908. First Sketch of Tasso's Gerusalemme, 
No, 816, f. 62. Federigo Zuccari, Ragguaglio del Escuriale. 


No. 3141, f. 144-193, La Famiglia del Duca Federigo, 
No. 1305. Giovanni Sanzi's Rhyming Chronicle of Duke Federigo. 
Ill, — 2 K 


No. 2447, f. 135, 3137, f. 8r. Discorsi del Duca di Urbino. 
No. ^i^i. passim. La Famiglia del Duca Federigo. 
No. 3144, f. 51. Vita del Duca Francesco Maria II. 
f. 172. Luttere di lui. 

f. 321, 3184, and 3142. Miscellanies regarding Urbino. 
f. 201. The Urbino Rebellion in 1572. 
f. 90. Filippo Giraldi, Fatti del Duca Francesco Maria I. 
Sundries regarding the Camerino Dispute. 
II Sacco di Roma. 
3152. Burchardi Diarium. 

, 2726, 2206, f. 17, 2441, f. 39. Sundries as to the Borgian 




















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Abano, mud-baths of, i, 424 ; iii, 35 
Abruzzi, war in the, i, 305, 358 
Abstemio, Lorenzo, i, 168 
Academy degli Assorditi, i, 228 ; ii, 

112 ; iii, 255, 256, 284 
Academy of St. Luke, iii, 366 
Acciaiuolo, Donato, i, 228; ii, 113 
Accolti, Bernardo, his success as an 

improvisatore, ii, 69, 70, 146 

— his devotion for the Duchess of 
Urbino, ii, 69 note, 70, 77 ; ii, 

Acquapendente, ii, 456 
Acre, i, 31 
Adorni, the, ii, 59 
Adria, Bishop of, i, 475 
Adrian VL, iii, 448 

— election of, ii, 416 

— death of, ii, 423 

Adriano, Cardinal of Corneto, fate 

of, ii, 391, 392 
Ady, C. M. , illilan under the Sforza, 

i, 73 note, 80 note, 183 note 
Ady, Mrs., ii, 119 note, 323 note 

— Isabella d'Esie, ii, 23 note, 316 
note ; iii, 51 note 

Affo, on Baldi, iii, 266, 271 

Agabito, Messer, i, 168 

Agatone, iii, 397 

Agincourt, iii, 407 

Agnello da Rimini, Tomaso, i, 53, 

Agostini, Ludovico degli, i, II2 note; 

ii, 211 note ; iii, 50 
Aiello, iii, 240 

Alamanni, Luigi, quoted, i, 5 
Albani, Cardinal Annibale, i, 154 
Albani Library, Urbino, i, xliv ; iii, 

271, 452, 467 
Albani Palace, Urbino, ii, 233 
Albani, Prince, i, 447 note 
Albano, see of, ii, 301 
III.— 2 L 

Albergato, iii, 332 

Alberi, Relazioni Vettete, i, 395 note 
Albert III., i, 311 
Alberti, Antonio, ii, 254 
Alberti, Calliope, ii, 254 
Alberti, Leandro, i, 164 
Alberti, Leon Battista, ii, 73 note, 

— employed by Sigismondo, i, 193 
Alberto da Carpi, iii, 440 

Albi, Duke of, i, 289 

Alcala, ii, 129 

Aldobrandini, Cardinal Pietro, iii, 

Alexander III., of Scotland, i, xiii 
Alexander VI., i, 65, 116; ii, 261, 

263, 282, 293, 301 

— mistress of, i, xi 

— succession of, i, 314, 318 

— children of, i, 318, 320, 367 

— personal vices of, i, 317 

— character of, i, 319 ; ii, 19-20 

— his enmity with Ferdinand II., i, 

— intrigues of, i, 343-5, 351 _ 

— employs Guidobaldo against the 
Orsini, i, 344, 358-62 

— ambitious nepotism of, i, 363, 


— mourns the Duke of Gandia, i, 

— sends Cesare to France, i, 368 

— designs on Urbino, i, 372 ; ii, 


— raises money, i, 386 

— crimes of, ii, 8 

— death of, ii, 15-19 

— and Polydoro Vergilio, ii, 115 

— patron of art, ii, 168, 459, 461 
note ; iii, 344 

— corresponds with the Sultan re 
Gem, ii, 294-6 




Alexander VII., iii, 242, 243 and 

note ; iii, 456 
Alfonso III. of Aragon, i, 323 
Alfonso V. of Aragon and I. of 
Naples, i, 68, 81, 97, 324 ; iii, 291 

— his designs on Tuscany, i, 97-9 

— accepts Federigo without sponsors, 
i, 103 

— ratifies Lodi, i, 109 

— death of, i, 113 

— his policy and bequests, i, 1 15 

— popularity of, i, 123 
Alfonso II. of Naples, i, 320 

— succession of, i, 341, 345 

— hismeasures against Charles VIII., 
1,348 . 

— abdication and death of, i, 351 

— children of, i, 363 

Alfonso II., Duke of Ferrara, iii, 331 

— death of, iii, 164 

— imprisons Tasso, iii, 309, 310, 312, 

Ali Pacha, Turkish admiral, iii, 140 
Alidosii, the. Seigneurs of Imola, i, 

Alidosio, Francesco, cardinal of 

Pavia, 323 ; ii, 326 

— favoured by Julius II., ii, 327 

— thwarts Francesco Maria, ii, 327-9, 


— further treachery of, ii, 330, 332 

— murder of, ii, 339 

— character of, ii, 341 
Alidosio of Imola, Joanna, i, 64 
Alippi, ii, 220 note 

Allagno, Lucrezia, i, iir 
Allegretti, Antonio, iii, 295 
Allegretto of Siena, i, 248 ; ii, 74 

Alunno, Nicol6, ii, 199 
Alva, Duke of, iii, no 
Alvarez di Bassano, iii, 140 
Alverado, ii, 393 
Alvisi, Cesare Borgia, ii, 19 note, 23 

Amatrice, Vitelli dell', iii, 82 
Ambrosian Library at Milan, ii, 63 ; 

iii. 77. 
Ammanati, Bartolomeo, iii, 73, 294, 

35.2, 400 
Ammirato, i, 209 
Amsterdam, iii, 395 note 
Anagni, i, 34 
Ancona, i, 17, 18, 177, 262,379; ii» 

395 '■> iiij 246 

Ancona fortified, iii, 263, 366 

— seized by Clement VII., iii, 59 
Andrea, Giovanni, i, 408; ii, 317 
Andrea da Prato, Gian, beaten by 

Francesco Maria I., iii, 36 
Andrea of Volterra, Fra, iii, 411 
Andreoli, Cencio, iii, 415 
Andreoli, Cesare di Giuseppe, iii, 

Andreoli, Giorgio, ii, 261 ; iii, 

Andreoli, Giovanni, iii, 414 
Andreoli, Salimbeni, iii, 414 
Andreoni, Padre, iii, 78 
Angelico, Fra, ii, 185 note; iii, 338 

— at Assisi, ii, 180 

— style of, ii, 186 

— his piety, ii, 161, 194 

— his frescoes in San Marco, ii, 194, 


— work ascribed to, ii, 196 

— his influence on Raffaele, ii, 229, 

— in Rome, ii, 288 
Angelo, i, 226 

Angevine dynasty founded, i, 323 
Anghiari, ii, 401 

— battle of, i, 77 
Angioletto, ii, 190 
Anguillara, i, 179, 331, 359 
Anne of Bretagne, i, 373 
Anselmi, Professor, i, xii 
Anselmi e Mancini, ii, 292 note 
Anstis, quoted, i, 224 ; ii, 462, 46S 
Antaldi Palace, iii, 231 
Antioch, patriarch of, ii, 281 
Antiquities of Rome, i, xvii 
Antoniano, Antonio, iii, 378 
Antonello di Messina, iii, 486 
Antonetti, Lucrezia Borgia, ii, 19 

Antonio, iii, 486 
Antonio, first Lord of Monte Copiolo, 

i, 25, 36 
Antonio, Count of Montefeltro and 

Urbino, iii, 463 note 

— recalled by citizens, i, 36 

— becomes a Guelph, i, 36 

— prosperous reign of, i, 37 

— welcomed in Gubbio and Perugia, 
i, 37 notes 

— his poetry, i, 37, 427 

— his death, i, 37-9 

— his children, i, 39-41 

— tomb of, i, 56 



Antonio da Ferrara, work of, ii, 200 

Antonio della Leyva, iii, 45 

Antonio, Pier, i, 410 

Antwerp, iii, 423 

Apennines, the, i, 3 

Apollonius, iii, 261 

Appia, Giovanni di, surprised at 

Forli, 27 
Apulia, i, 278 

Aquarone, Dante in Siaia, i, 6 note 
Aquaviva, i, 104 
Aquila, i, 133 ; iii, 39 

— insurrection at, i, 305 
Aquina, iii, 291 

Aquinas, St. Thomas, i, 230 ; ii, 218 
Aracoeli, Cardinal, iii, 17 
Aracoeli, church of, ii, 288 
Aragon, dynasty of, i, 68 
Archangelo of Siena, ii, 83 
Archimedes, iii, 261 
Architects, duties of, iii, 265 
Arci, fief of, ii, 313 ; iii, 45 
Arcimboldo of Milan, i, 382 
Aretino, L'Unico, ii, 146, see Accolti 
Aretino, Pietro, ii, 73 note, 131, 244; 
iii, 94, 102, 124 

— on Accolti, ii, 146 

— "scourge of princes," iii, 287 

— authorities for, iii, 287 note 

— career of, iii, 287-9 

— style of, iii, 28S 

— epitaph on, iii, 290 

— on Titian, iii, 391-6 

— sonnets of, iii, 470, 471 
Arezzo, ii, 69, 201 ; iii, 287, 400 

— Priors of, their letter to Federigo, 
i, 228 

— see of, ii, 113 

— siege of, i, 400 

— majolica made at, iii, 406 
Argentina, iii, 205 

Argoli, Andrea, iii, 208 
Arignano, Domenico, i, 318 
Ariosto, Ludovico, ii, 80 note 

— ii, 242 ; iii, 123 

— on Accolti, ii, 146 

— at Ferrara, ii, 147 

— as envoy, ii, 346 

— bibliography of, iii, 28onote 

— patronized by d'Este, iii, 281-3 

— visits Urbino, iii, 281, 284 

— at Rome, iii, 282 

— his Orlando Furioso, iii, 282, 2S5 

— style of, iii, 286 

-^ on Aretino, iii, 287 

Ariosto, Ludovico, on Vittoria Co- 
lonna, iii, 292 

— compared with Tasso, iii, 329 
Aristotle, ii,